Cover art for podcast LBJ and the Great Society

LBJ and the Great Society

19 EpisodesProduced by PRXWebsite

President Lyndon B. Johnson is today remembered largely for his failure in Vietnam. But before the war sunk his presidency, LBJ compiled a record of accomplishment on the domestic front unmatched since FDR. Medicare, civil and voting rights, clean air and water, Head Start, immigration reform, publi… read more

19 Episodes | 2017 - 2020

S2 Ep 7 - Post Script

March 17th, 2020

53:11

So what do historians think, fifty years out, about LBJ’s Great Society and its long term impact on American life and politics?  In early February, …

S2 Ep 6 - The Engineer

March 10th, 2020

39:45

Five decades after Lyndon Johnson first unveiled his lofty vision of a Great Society, politicians and pundits are still arguing about what he …

S2 Ep 5 - Give Us the Ballot

March 3rd, 2020

37:33

By his own account the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was Lyndon Johnson’s greatest achievement – the jewel in the crown of the Great Society, and widely considered the most effective piece of civil rights legislation in …

S2 Ep 4 - Medicine Man

February 25th, 2020

31:14

FDR, Harry Truman, and JFK all attempted to pass some form of universal health care — but no one had gotten even close. Johnson believed he might succeed where his predecessors had failed, at least for the country’s …

S2 Ep 3 - The Bully Pulpit

February 18th, 2020

32:46

“We will not win our war against poverty until the conscience of the entire Nation is aroused,” LBJ told an aide. But how to do that when most …

S2 Ep 2 - Mr. Poverty

February 11th, 2020

25:11

"I didn't know a damn thing about poverty and didn't want the job," Sargent Shriver would later recall, of his conversation with the president, “and …

S2 Ep 1 - The Great Unveiling

February 4th, 2020

26:14

On the night of JFK’s assassination, with the nation reeling, Lyndon Johnson stayed up much of the night with two young aides, and laid out a list of legislative initiatives he proposed to pursue. In its scope, vision, …

Trailer - Welcome to LBJ and the Great Society

January 20th, 2020

2:46

While President Lyndon B. Johnson is remembered today largely for his failure in Vietnam, this podcast tells a different story, revealing his …

Epilog: “I Shall Not Seek…”

October 3rd, 2017

51:18

Lyndon Johnson's March '68 announcement, that he would not seek re-election, stunned the nation and the world, and marked the effective end of a …

S1 Ep 6 LBJ's War - The Shock of Tet

September 26th, 2017

24:19

“Whammo, we got caught with our pants down,” a CIA analyst says of the Tet Offensive, the massive surprise attack that North Vietnam launched against American and South Vietnamese forces in the pre-dawn hours of January …

S1 Ep 5 LBJ's War - The Preacher and the President

September 19th, 2017

21:04

“I’ll try to be worthy of your hopes,” LBJ told Martin Luther King, just days into his presidency, and for the next two years, largely made good on …

S1 Ep 4 LBJ's War - Parting the Curtains

September 12th, 2017

22:43

For fifteen months, LBJ kept the country largely in the dark about the Vietnam War. Then, in February ’66, the powerful Senate Foreign Relations …

S1 Ep 3 LBJ's War - The Carrot and the Stick

September 5th, 2017

18:01

By the spring of 1965, pressure is building on President Johnson to make his case for the war to the American electorate. He resists, preferring to manage the conflict without public scrutiny, but finally agrees to go …

S1 Ep 2 LBJ's War - The Tonkin Incident(s)

September 5th, 2017

23:26

Twice in six weeks, in the late summer of 1964, U.S. destroyers reported they were under unprovoked attack, by North Vietnamese PT boats, while …

S1 Ep. 1 LBJ's War - The Churchill of Asia

September 5th, 2017

17:57

“They started with me on Diem,” LBJ told an old friend, “that he was corrupt, and he ought to be killed. So, we killed him.”  Not quite true, it …

Trailer - Welcome to LBJ’s War

August 28th, 2017

4:56

LBJ’s War is a podcast that tells the story of LBJ's failure in Vietnam and fall from grace in the voices of those who were there.

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