Over the past decade, Lyndon Johnson has become the focus of an increasing number of revisionist studies. As a group, these works have been every bit as contentious and contradictory as LBJ himself and, ultimately, have provided only limited consensus on his presidency and his political career. Adding fire to the debate, seven leading Johnson scholars here provide a revealing new look at LBJ's role in domestic and foreign policy. They examine his obsession with the Vietnam War; his commitment to the Great Society and civil rights; his failure to deal with radical civil-rights leaders and the crisis in the ghettos; his limited knowledge of Europe and his dealings with NATO; his Middle East policy; his views on Strategic Arms Limitations; his contribution to the decline of the Democratic party in the sixties; and his reactive rather than proactive response to women's issues.
This is the third volume in editor Robert Divine's highly regarded series on the LBJ presidency. Originally intended to feature the rich materials available to scholars in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library in Austin, the trilogy's accomplishments now extend well beyond that original intent. It both deepens our understanding of the major issues of the sixties and points the way to significant topics and resources for future debate.