Cover art for podcast Nixon at War

Nixon at War

27 EpisodesProduced by PRXWebsite

Most accounts of the collapse of Richard Nixon’s presidency begin with Watergate — the now iconic tale of a bungled break-in and the misbegotten cover-up that followed.  But what led to Watergate?  How — and more puzzlingly, why — did one of the shrewdest, most gifted political figures of his time b… read more

27 Episodes | 2017 - 2021

S3 Ep 7 - Tangled Web

July 26th, 2021


In the fall of 1971, Richard Nixon had reason to be optimistic. The long sought China Summit had just been announced, for the following year, to …

S3 Ep 6 - Off the Rails

July 19th, 2021


With the publication of the Pentagon Papers in June ’71, the demons that Richard Nixon has wrestled throughout his presidency – indeed, through much of his public life – begin to gain the upper hand. “The strain of …

S3 Ep 5 - Beginning of the End

July 11th, 2021


In early February ’71, with pressure building at home to complete the withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam, Nixon puts his Vietnamization program to a crucial and very public test. With the world watching, the …

S3 Ep 4 - Searchlight on the Lawn

July 5th, 2021


In the spring of 1970, the war in Vietnam comes home with a vengeance.  A year of secret bombing having produced no movement from the North Vietnamese, Nixon and Kissinger raise the stakes, dramatically. In late April, …

S3 Ep 3 - Sideshow

June 28th, 2021


In December 1968, only weeks after his election, Nixon names Henry Kissinger as his national security advisor. The appointment will prove to be the most consequential of his presidency. The two men barely know each …

S3 Ep 2 - Madame Chennault

June 21st, 2021


Coming out of the conventions in August ’68, Richard Nixon begins his campaign against Hubert Humphrey, his Democratic opponent, with what looks like an insurmountable lead.  Running as the peace candidate, Nixon …

S3 Ep 1 - October Surprise

June 14th, 2021


Get in and get those files.  Blow the safe and get it.

-President Nixon to aide H.R. Haldeman

For President Richard Nixon, the publication of the Pentagon Papers, in June 1971, ought not to have mattered. The …

Trailer - Welcome to Nixon at War

June 11th, 2021


Most accounts of the collapse of Richard Nixon’s presidency begin with Watergate —- the now iconic tale of a bungled break-in and the misbegotten …

S2 Ep 7 - Post Script

March 17th, 2020


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


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


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


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


“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


"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


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


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


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


“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


“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


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


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


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


“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


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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