Prisoners of Hope

Author: Randall B. Woods
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465050963
Format: PDF, ePub
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President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society was breathtaking in its scope and dramatic in its impact. Over the course of his time in office, Johnson passed over one thousand pieces of legislation designed to address an extraordinary array of social issues. Poverty and racial injustice were foremost among them, but the Great Society included legislation on issues ranging from health care to immigration to education and environmental protection. But while the Great Society was undeniably ambitious, it was by no means perfect. In Prisoners of Hope, prize-winning historian Randall B. Woods presents the first comprehensive history of the Great Society, exploring both the breathtaking possibilities of visionary politics, as well as its limits. Soon after becoming president, Johnson achieved major legislative victories with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But he wasn't prepared for the substantial backlash that ensued. Community Action Programs were painted as dangerously subversive, at worst a forum for minority criminals and at best a conduit through which the federal government and the inner city poor could bypass the existing power structure. Affirmative action was rife with controversy, and the War on Poverty was denounced by conservatives as the cause of civil disorder and disregard for the law. As opposition, first from white conservatives, but then also some liberals and African Americans, mounted, Johnson was forced to make a number of devastating concessions in order to secure the future of the Great Society. Even as many Americans benefited, millions were left disappointed, from suburban whites to the new anti-war left to African Americans. The Johnson administration's efforts to draw on aspects of the Great Society to build a viable society in South Vietnam ultimately failed, and as the war in Vietnam descended into quagmire, the president's credibility plummeted even further. A cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of even well-intentioned policy, Prisoners of Hope offers a nuanced portrait of America's most ambitious—and controversial—domestic policy agenda since the New Deal.

Prisoners of Hope

Author: Randall Bennett Woods
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780465098712
Format: PDF
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President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society was breathtaking in its scope and dramatic in its impact. Over the course of his time in office, Johnson passed over one thousand pieces of legislation designed to address an extraordinary array of social issues. Poverty and racial injustice were foremost among them, but the Great Society included legislation on issues ranging from health care to immigration to education and environmental protection. But while the Great Society was undeniably ambitious, it was by no means perfect. In Prisoners of Hope, prize-winning historian Randall B. Woods presents the first comprehensive history of the Great Society, exploring both the breathtaking possibilities of visionary politics, as well as its limits. Soon after becoming president, Johnson achieved major legislative victories with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But he wasn't prepared for the substantial backlash that ensued. Community Action Programs were painted as dangerously subversive, at worst a forum for minority criminals and at best a conduit through which the federal government and the inner city poor could bypass the existing power structure. Affirmative action was rife with controversy, and the War on Poverty was denounced by conservatives as the cause of civil disorder and disregard for the law. As opposition, first from white conservatives, but then also some liberals and African Americans, mounted, Johnson was forced to make a number of devastating concessions in order to secure the future of the Great Society. Even as many Americans benefited, millions were left disappointed, from suburban whites to the new anti-war left to African Americans. The Johnson administration's efforts to draw on aspects of the Great Society to build a viable society in South Vietnam ultimately failed, and as the war in Vietnam descended into quagmire, the president's credibility plummeted even further. A cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of even well-intentioned policy, Prisoners of Hope offers a nuanced portrait of America's most ambitious--and controversial--domestic policy agenda since the New Deal.

LBJ

Author: Randall Woods
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416593314
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For almost forty years, the verdict on Lyndon Johnson's presidency has been reduced to a handful of harsh words: tragedy, betrayal, lost opportunity. Initially, historians focused on the Vietnam War and how that conflict derailed liberalism, tarnished the nation's reputation, wasted lives, and eventually even led to Watergate. More recently, Johnson has been excoriated in more personal terms: as a player of political hardball, as the product of machine-style corruption, as an opportunist, as a cruel husband and boss. In LBJ, Randall B. Woods, a distinguished historian of twentieth-century America and a son of Texas, offers a wholesale reappraisal and sweeping, authoritative account of the LBJ who has been lost under this baleful gaze. Woods understands the political landscape of the American South and the differences between personal failings and political principles. Thanks to the release of thousands of hours of LBJ's White House tapes, along with the declassification of tens of thousands of documents and interviews with key aides, Woods's LBJ brings crucial new evidence to bear on many key aspects of the man and the politician. As private conversations reveal, Johnson intentionally exaggerated his stereotype in many interviews, for reasons of both tactics and contempt. It is time to set the record straight. Woods's Johnson is a flawed but deeply sympathetic character. He was born into a family with a liberal Texas tradition of public service and a strong belief in the public good. He worked tirelessly, but not just for the sake of ambition. His approach to reform at home, and to fighting fascism and communism abroad, was motivated by the same ideals and based on a liberal Christian tradition that is often forgotten today. Vietnam turned into a tragedy, but it was part and parcel of Johnson's commitment to civil rights and antipoverty reforms. LBJ offers a fascinating new history of the political upheavals of the 1960s and a new way to understand the last great burst of liberalism in America. Johnson was a magnetic character, and his life was filled with fascinating stories and scenes. Through insights gained from interviews with his longtime secretary, his Secret Service detail, and his closest aides and confidants, Woods brings Johnson before us in vivid and unforgettable color.

Shadow Warrior

Author: Randall B. Woods
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465037887
Format: PDF
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Explores the life and career of William Egan Colby, one of the most controversial figures of the postwar period: World War II commando, Cold War spy, Saigon CIA station chief, and eventual CIA director under Nixon and Ford, he played a critical role in some of the most pivotal events in 20th-century history.

The Fierce Urgency of Now

Author: Julian E. Zelizer
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101605499
Format: PDF, Docs
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A majestic big-picture account of the Great Society and the forces that shaped it, from Lyndon Johnson and members of Congress to the civil rights movement and the media Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal, one whose ambition and achievement have had no parallel since. In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; the War on Poverty program; Medicare and Medicaid; the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; Public Broadcasting; immigration liberalization; a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts; and major federal investments in public transportation. Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the “Great Society.” In The Fierce Urgency of Now, Julian E. Zelizer takes the full measure of the entire story in all its epic sweep. Before Johnson, Kennedy tried and failed to achieve many of these advances. Our practiced understanding is that this was an unprecedented “liberal hour” in America, a moment, after Kennedy’s death, when the seas parted and Johnson could simply stroll through to victory. As Zelizer shows, this view is off-base: In many respects America was even more conservative than it seems now, and Johnson’s legislative program faced bitter resistance. The Fierce Urgency of Now animates the full spectrum of forces at play during these turbulent years, including religious groups, the media, conservative and liberal political action groups, unions, and civil rights activists. Above all, the great character in the book whose role rivals Johnson’s is Congress—indeed, Zelizer argues that our understanding of the Great Society program is too Johnson-centric. He discusses why Congress was so receptive to passing these ideas in a remarkably short span of time and how the election of 1964 and burgeoning civil rights movement transformed conditions on Capitol Hill. Zelizer brings a deep, intimate knowledge of the institution to bear on his story: The book is a master class in American political grand strategy. Finally, Zelizer reckons with the legacy of the Great Society. Though our politics have changed, the heart of the Great Society legislation remains intact fifty years later. In fact, he argues, the Great Society shifted the American political center of gravity—and our social landscape—decisively to the left in many crucial respects. In a very real sense, we are living today in the country that Johnson and his Congress made.

Lincoln s Greatest Speech

Author: Ronald C. White
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743299620
Format: PDF
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In the tradition of Wills's "Lincoln at Gettysburg, Lincoln's Greatest Speech" combines impeccable scholarship and lively, engaging writing to reveal the full meaning of one of the greatest speeches in the nation's history.

Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care

Author: Neil Gross
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674074483
Format: PDF, ePub
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Neil Gross shows that the U.S. academy’s liberal reputation has exerted a self-selecting influence on young liberals, while deterring promising conservatives. His study sheds new light on both academic life and American politics, where the conservative movement was built in part around opposition to the “liberal elite” in higher education.

From Revolution to Rights in South Africa

Author: Steven L. Robins
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
ISBN: 1847012027
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The author argues for the continued importance of NGOs, social movements and other 'civil society' actors in creating new forms of citizenship and democracy in South Africa.