Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Dec 6, 2012 - History - 400 pages
6 Reviews
Lady Bird Johnson, an early champion of the environment and Project Head Start, has been widely acknowledged as one of America's greatest First Ladies. In a 1982 poll, historians ranked her the third most influential, behind Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt. This oral history encompass three important stories. The first is that of a young woman's transformation from a shy, rural East Texan into one of America's most admired First Ladies. The second reveals the remarkable emergence of Lyndon Johnson, one of the twentieth century's most powerful political and legislative leaders, as told by his most trusted confidante. Finally, this volume presents a keen observer's day-by-day view of a turbulent world, as "the greatest generation" confronted momentous challenges at home and abroad. Lady Bird Johnson's oral history provides an intimate, first-person narrative of her own development and activities as well as the life she shared with LBJ. It includes her vivid descriptions of the moments and events that shaped their destiny and influenced their attitudes on such issues as civil rights, education, health care, and national defense. Her rich verbal portraits brings to life scores of prominent political personalities, including Sam Rayburn, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. The core narrative consists of thirty-seven oral history interviews that Michael L. Gillette conducted with her during the late 1970s and 1980s; the transcripts were opened only in May 2011 and have never previously been available for research. The lengthy seal under which they have been held is a measure of Lady Bird's expansiveness and candor. In recording the interviews, Mrs. Johnson marshaled the same elegant prose and attention to detail that characterized her memoir, A White House Diary. Selected excerpts from interviews with some of those who knew Lady Bird Johnson best, as well as transcripts of White House tapes, appear in sidebars to amplify and supplement her own narrative. Oxford will publish the book to coincide with the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson's birth in December 2012.
  

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Review: Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History

User Review  - Ed - Goodreads

The book spent more time on social events than political. No real controversies surrounding her husband were discussed. Read full review

Review: Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History

User Review  - Shugga - Goodreads

An oral history of Lady Bird Johnson. A smart woman, a good read! Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
8
2 EDUCATION 19241934
26
3 A WHIRLWIND COURTSHIP
45
4 19351937 A FUTURE IN POLITICS?
65
5 IN CONGRESS 19371940
83
6 1941 A LEARNING EXPERIENCE
103
7 1942 MANAGING THE CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE
123
13 A SENATE WIFE
238
14 THE LBJ RANCH
259
15 THE LOYAL OPPOSITION 19531955
277
16 TOWARD THE LIBERAL SIDE 19561959
296
17 1960 THE POINT OF NO RETURN
315
A PEBBLE IN A SHOE
334
19 THE WHITE HOUSE YEARS
346
Afterword
373

8 NESTING AND INVESTING 19421943
141
9 WAR YEARS 19431945
156
10 A GRINDING OCCUPATION 19461947
176
11 THE HARDEST YEAR OF OUR LIVES 1948
193
12 LBJ IN THE SENATE
221
Lady Bird Johnsons Oral History Interviews
375
Bibliographical Note
377
Index
381
Copyright

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About the author (2012)


Michael L. Gillette directed the LBJ Library's Oral History Program from 1976 to 1991. He later served as director of the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives and is currently the executive director of Humanities Texas in Austin. He is the author of Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History.