The Presidency: The American Civilization


It is not often that a U.S. President has tried to articulate the meaning and the goals of an American civilization that is distinct from its European roots and is more than a mere piece in the mosaic of world order. That, however, is what President Johnson accomplished last week. In a speech before 80,000 at the University of Michigan stadium at Ann Arbor—where he was given an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree—the President eloquently invited his fellow citizens to join in the pursuit of a "Great Society" uniquely American both in spirit and promise. Excerpts:

"For a century we...

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