The Nation: L.B.J. and Tradition

It was against his doctors advice, Lyndon Johnson said, but he could not resist taking the podium at a civil rights symposium in Austin. The audience, about half black, was split between integrationists and separatists. Johnson's advice: to reason together toward amity—even with Richard Nixon.

Present to the White House a "program of objectives," he urged. "There is no point in starting off by saying he is terrible, because he doesn't think he is terrible. He doesn't want to leave the presidency thinking that he has been unfair or unjust." Then he added pointedly:...

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