Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws that Changed America

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - History - 522 pages
8 Reviews
Opposites in almost every way, mortally suspicious of each other at first, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., were thrust together in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Both men sensed a historic opportunity and began a delicate dance of accommodation that moved them, and the entire nation, toward the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Drawing on a wealth of newly available sources -- Johnson's taped telephone conversations, voluminous FBI wiretap logs, previously secret communications between the FBI and the president -- Nick Kotz gives us a dramatic narrative, rich in dialogue, that presents this momentous period with thrilling immediacy. Judgment Days offers needed perspective on a presidency too often linked solely to the tragedy of Vietnam.
We watch Johnson applying the arm-twisting tactics that made him a legend in the Senate, and we follow King as he keeps the pressure on in the South through protest and passive resistance. King's pragmatism and strategic leadership and Johnson's deeply held commitment to a just society shaped the character of their alliance. Kotz traces the inexorable convergence of their paths to an intense joint effort that made civil rights a legislative reality at last, despite FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's vicious whispering campaign to destroy King.
Judgment Days also reveals how this spirit of teamwork disintegrated. The two leaders parted bitterly over King's opposition to the Vietnam War. In this first full account of the working relationship between Johnson and King, Kotz offers a detailed, surprising account that significantly enriches our understanding of both men and their time.
 

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Review: Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws That Changed America

User Review  - Moira - Goodreads

Awesome. Amazing. So engrossing. Read full review

Review: Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws That Changed America

User Review  - Jessi - Goodreads

I had to read this t for grad class. Not really my type of book. Too many names. Couldn't keep them all straight. Read full review

Contents

The Cataclysm
1
Let Us Continue
17
A Fellow Southerner in the White House
42
Hoover King and Two Presidents
68
A Fire That No Water Could Put Out
87
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
112
Lyndon Johnson and the Ku Klux Klan
156
A Political Revolution
189
Shining Moment
315
This Time the Fire
338
Another Martyr
379
The Legacy
422
Acknowledgments
435
Authors Note on Sources
439
Notes
443
Interview List
475

Hoover Attacks
229
A Quiet Alliance
250
We Shall Overcome
278

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About the author (2005)

NICK KOTZ is the author of five previous books on politics, social justice, and the civil rights movement. A renowned journalist, he has received a Pulitzer Prize and a National Magazine Award. He lives in Broad Run, Virginia.

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