Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-1964

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Michael R. Beschloss
Simon & Schuster, 1997 - Political Science - 591 pages
"Taking Charge", edited by Michael R. Beschloss, whom Newsweek has called "America's leading presidential historian", brings you into the room with an American political legend, still hated and revered a quarter century after his death. We hear Lyndon Johnson as he schemes and blusters, rewards and punishes, tells tales of Washington, D.C., and Texas, and reveals a bedrock core of unshakable political beliefs.

The only President to record his private conversations from his first day in office, LBJ ordered the tapes to be locked in a vault until at least the year 2023. But now they have been unsealed, providing a close-up look at a President taking power such as we have never had before-- from John F. Kennedy's murder in November 1963 to Johnson's campaign for a landslide victory. Michael Beschloss has transcribed and annotated the secretly recorded tapes, providing historical commentary that allows us to understand fully the people, crises, and controversies that appear on them.

"Taking Charge", the first volume of "The Johnson White House Tapes", is filled with revelations about the fullblooded Texan behind the public image. We hear LBJ telling who he thinks really killed JFK, creating the Warren Commission, staking his presidency on a revolutionary civil rights bill, scuttling Robert Kennedy's drive to be his Vice President, using the Tonkin Gulf attack to expand the American beachhead in Southeast Asia, and unveiling his private, tortured early doubts that we could ever win a war in Vietnam.

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User Review  - ck2935 - LibraryThing

I actually have the hardcover edition of this book. Another insightful book for an inside scoop on the Lyndon Johnson White House. He was a true deal maker and an arm wrangler. It is amazing what he ... Read full review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

These secretly recorded conversations between President Lyndon Johnson and members of his family, his staff, and the troubled nation he was governing constitute one of the most exciting audio programs ... Read full review


The Fatal Trip to Texas
August 1964
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About the author (1997)

Michael Beschloss has been called "the nation's leading Presidential historian" by "Newsweek." He has written eight books on American Presidents and is NBC News Presidential Historian, as well as contributor to PBS's "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons.

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