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LBJ

LBJ

Architect of American Ambition

Randall B. Woods

ISBN 9780674026995

Publication date: 11/30/2007

A Christian Science Monitor Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

“In his masterful new biography, Randall B. Woods convincingly makes the case for Johnson’s greatness—as the last American president whose leadership achieved truly revolutionary breakthroughs in progressive domestic legislation, bringing changes that have improved the lives of most Americans. In this compelling, massive narrative, Woods portrays Johnson fairly and fully in all his complexity, with adequate attention to flaws in his character and his tragic miscalculations in Vietnam.”—Nick Kotz, Washington Post Book World

“In writing LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, Woods has produced an excellent biography that fully deserves a place alongside the best of the Johnson studies yet to appear…Even readers familiar with the many other fine books on Johnson will learn a great deal from Woods…Among Woods’s many achievements in this fine biography is to allow us to see not only the enormous, tragic flaws in this extraordinary man, but also the greatness.”—Alan Brinkley, New York Times Book Review

A distinguished historian of twentieth-century America, Randall B. Woods offers a wholesale reappraisal and sweeping, authoritative account of the life of one of the most fascinating and complex U.S. presidents.

Praise

  • In his masterful new biography, Randall B. Woods convincingly makes the case for Johnson’s greatness—as the last American president whose leadership achieved truly revolutionary breakthroughs in progressive domestic legislation, bringing changes that have improved the lives of most Americans. In this compelling, massive narrative, Woods portrays Johnson fairly and fully in all his complexity, with adequate attention to flaws in his character and his tragic miscalculations in Vietnam… In illuminating detail, Woods describes the enormous political skills with which Johnson, in quiet partnership with civil rights leaders, persuaded Congress to secure the basic freedoms of African Americans. Woods reminds us that dozens of government benefits and protections that Americans take for granted today were won in the 1960s principally because of LBJ’s vision, legislative mastery and determination… Woods follows in the footsteps of LBJ’s most reliable earlier biographers—Ronnie Dugger, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Robert Dallek—but makes his own unique contribution to the Johnson literature with a fresh, probing interpretation of the influences and ideals that shaped Johnson and his presidency… The book’s strengths include a balanced narrative, graceful prose and Woods’s nuanced understanding of Southern politics and culture.

    —Nick Kotz, Washington Post Book World

Author

  • Randall B. Woods is John A. Cooper Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. He is also the author of the widely praised Fulbright: A Biography.

Book Details

  • 1024 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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