The Nation: Lyndon's Uncandid Memoirs

LYNDON JOHNSON presided over five tragic and bewildering years in U.S. history—an era of deeply controversial war, vast social change, urban riots and a nearly debilitating crisis of the national psyche. Yet measured against the events, L.B.J.'s memoirs* of those years, published this week, sometimes seem oddly smooth and windowless, like the travertine walls of the L.B.J. Library built to house his papers in Austin, Texas. The man who was surely the best raconteur in the White House since Lincoln has digested all of that drama —an Administration that began with an assassination and ended with something like an abdication—into more...

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