Publisher : Government Printing Office
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Gould has dusted off, updated, and thinned his 1988 "Lady Bird Johnson and the Environment" to kick off the new series on the wives of US presidents.
Over a span of eighteen years, Lady Bird Johnson recorded forty-seven oral history interviews with Michael Gillette and his colleagues. These conversations, just released in 2011, form the heart of Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History, an intimate story of a shy young country girl's transformation into one of America's most effective and admired First Ladies. Lady Bird Johnson's odyssey is one of personal and intellectual growth, political and financial ambition, and a shared life with Lyndon Baines Johnson, one of the most complicated, volatile, and powerful presidents of the 20th century. The former First Lady recounts how a cautious, conservative young woman succumbed to an ultimatum to marry a man she had known for less than three months, how she ran his congressional office during World War II, and how she transformed a struggling Austin radio station into the foundation of a communications empire. As a keen observer of the Washington scene during the eventful decades from the 1930s through the 1960s, Lady Bird Johnson shares dramatic accounts of pivotal moments in American history. We attend informal dinners at Sam Rayburn's apartment and opulent social events at grand mansions from an earlier age. Her rich verbal portraits bring to life scores of personalities, including First Ladies Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Pat Nixon. An informal, candid narrative by one of America's most admired First Ladies, this volume reveals how instrumental Lady Bird Johnson's support and guidance were at each stage of her husband's political ascent and how she herself emerged as a significant political force.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A magisterial portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, and a major reevaluation of the profound yet underappreciated impact the First Lady's political instincts had on LBJ’s presidency. WINNER OF THE TEXAS BOOK AWARD • LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/JACQUELINE BOGRAD WELD AWARD • “[An] extensive, engaging new biography . . . in the Caro mold . . . To those who do not know [Lady Bird’s] story, Sweig’s book will come as a revelation.”—The New York Times “This riveting portrait gives us an important revision of a long-neglected First Lady.”—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt, Vols. 1–3 In the spring of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson had a decision to make. Just months after moving into the White House under the worst of circumstances—following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy—he had to decide whether to run to win the presidency in his own right. He turned to his most reliable, trusted political strategist: his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. The strategy memo she produced for him, emblematic of her own political acumen and largely overlooked by biographers, is just one revealing example of how their marriage was truly a decades-long political partnership. Perhaps the most underestimated First Lady of the twentieth century, Lady Bird Johnson was also one of the most accomplished and often her husband's secret weapon. Managing the White House in years of national upheaval, through the civil rights movement and the escalation of the Vietnam War, Lady Bird projected a sense of calm and, following the glamorous and modern Jackie Kennedy, an old-fashioned image of a First Lady. In truth, she was anything but. As the first First Lady to run the East Wing like a professional office, she took on her own policy initiatives, including the most ambitious national environmental effort since Teddy Roosevelt. Occupying the White House during the beginning of the women's liberation movement, she hosted professional women from all walks of life in the White House, including urban planning and environmental pioneers like Jane Jacobs and Barbara Ward, encouraging women everywhere to pursue their own careers, even if her own style of leadership and official role was to lead by supporting others. Where no presidential biographer has understood the full impact of Lady Bird Johnson’s work in the White House, Julia Sweig is the first to draw substantially on Lady Bird’s own voice in her White House diaries to place Claudia Alta "Lady Bird” Johnson center stage and to reveal a woman ahead of her time—and an accomplished politician in her own right.
Senate Document 110-8. Provides a collection of statements made in tribute to Lady Bird Johnson, together with other materials relating to her death.
In the 1960s Lady Bird Johnson sought to improve the natural appearance of Washington, D.C., to make the nation’s highways less cluttered with billboards and junkyards, and to advance the environmental agenda of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. The popular understanding of what she did remains incomplete, and her role as a woman conservationist has not been well understood. In this, the first book to example her accomplishments as First Lady, Lewis Gould shows Lady Bird Johnson as a catalyst for environmental ideas and as a powerful and persuasive force within her husband’s administration. Although passage of the Highway Beautification Act in 1965 was the legislative apex of her efforts, Lady Bird Johnson also articulated a wide range of conservation issues, framing policy initiatives and focusing public opinion. She instilled conservation and ecological ideas in the national mind, Gould argues, with a skill and adroitness that puts Mrs. Johnson in the front rank among modern First Ladies. Indeed, in his view, only Eleanor Roosevelt surpasses her in importance. This book is the result of Gould’s extensive research in the LBJ Library and draws on his interviews with such key figures as Interior Secretary Steward Udall, Press Secretary Liz Carpenter, District of Columbia Mayor Walter Washington, and Lady Bird Johnson herself.