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Review Essay

Lyndon Johnson and Foreign Policy: What the New Documents Show

In This Review

The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power

The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power
By H. W. Brands
Oxford University Press, 1995, 304 pp. $27.50 Purchase

L.B.J. and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War

L.B.J. and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War
By George C. Herring
University of Texas Press, 1994, 228 pp. $29.95 Purchase

The Johnson Years: A Vietnam Roundtable

The Johnson Years: A Vietnam Roundtable
Edited by Ted Gittinger
Lyndon Baines Johnson School for Public Affairs, 1993, 192 pp. $15.00 Purchase

Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World: American Foreign Policy, 1963-1968

Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World: American Foreign Policy, 1963-1968
Edited by Warren I. Cohen and Nancy Bernkopf Tucker
Cambridge University Press, 1994, 320 pp. $54.95 Purchase

Lyndon Johnson should have been a great president. He was better than anybody alive at getting things done in Washington. He proved it in his first few years as president, when he persuaded the hitherto squabbling branches of government to work together. Freed for a time from checking and balancing, the president and Congress dealt with a long overdue domestic agenda; the result was the more than 200 laws and programs constituting the "Great Society" initiative. The United States witnessed the rare spectacle of its system of government actually working. A Republican business leader remarked, "Now that Americans have seen what a really professional politician can accomplish, they’ll never elect an amateur again."

A broad consensus supported the goals to which Johnson devoted his amazing energies and persuasive powers. At home, he acted to eradicate poverty and racial discrimination and to improve education—a closely related goal. Abroad, he tried

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In This Review

The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power

The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power
By H. W. Brands
Oxford University Press, 1995, 304 pp. $27.50 Purchase

L.B.J. and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War

L.B.J. and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War
By George C. Herring
University of Texas Press, 1994, 228 pp. $29.95 Purchase

The Johnson Years: A Vietnam Roundtable

The Johnson Years: A Vietnam Roundtable
Edited by Ted Gittinger
Lyndon Baines Johnson School for Public Affairs, 1993, 192 pp. $15.00 Purchase

Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World: American Foreign Policy, 1963-1968

Lyndon Johnson Confronts the World: American Foreign Policy, 1963-1968
Edited by Warren I. Cohen and Nancy Bernkopf Tucker
Cambridge University Press, 1994, 320 pp. $54.95 Purchase

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