ON the surface, nothing had changed.

The big microwave antenna still towered above the banks of the Pedernales. The house trailers still stood ready for the aides and auxiliaries who attend the Commander in Chief. Secret Service agents were as protective as ever of the man they were assigned to guard. Yet everything, of course, had changed, and the L.B.J. ranch—the seat of power for perhaps a fifth of Lyndon Johnson's 1,887 days as President—was the home of a private citizen.

If the transformation bothered Johnson, he concealed it gracefully. "I'm sure that anyone...

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