Pay Any Price: Lyndon Johnson and the Wars for Vietnam

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Elephant Paperbacks, Jan 1, 1997 - History - 610 pages
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Lyndon Johnson brought to the presidency a political outlook steeped in New Deal liberalism and the idea of government intervention for the public good at home or abroad. Seeking to fulfill John Kennedy's pledge in Southeast Asia, LBJ constructed a fatal coupling of the Great Society and the anti-Communist imperative. Pay Any Price is Lloyd Gardner's riveting account of the fall into Vietnam; of behind-the-scenes decision-making at the highest levels of government; of miscalculation, blinkered optimism, and moral obtuseness. Blending political biography with diplomatic history, Gardner has written the first book on American involvement in the Vietnam War to use the full resources and newly declassified documents of the Johnson Library, and to tell whole the story of Johnson and Vietnam. The book is filled with fresh interpretations, brilliantly incisive portraits of the president and his men, and new perspectives on America's most divisive foreign war. Gardner describes for the first time how, as tragedy swirled around the deliberations in Washington, Clark Clifford and Dean Rusk struggled for the president's soul, culminating in the bombing halt of 1968 and the Johnson decision not to run. The war finally sundered the liberal cold war consensus, Gardner argues, and brought to an end the New Deal politics that had dominated American political life since 1933. Pay Any Price is a major work of history by one of our most distinguished historians."

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Pay any price: Lyndon Johnson and the wars for Vietnam

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Gardner (Spheres of Influence, LJ 4/15/93), a highly regarded diplomatic historian, makes good use of recently declassified documents to show convincingly that Vietnam was not solely Lyndon Johnson's ... Read full review


Decoding Lyndon Johnson
Liberal Anxiety in the Eisenhower Years
After the Bay of Pigs

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About the author (1997)

Lloyd C. Gardner is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of more than a dozen books in American diplomatic history, including Spheres of Influence, Approaching Vietnam, A Covenant with Power, and Architects of Illusion.

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