A Rogue, Yes, but With Great Vision: ROBERT DALLEK

Historian ROBERT DALLEK, author of a new biography, argues that Lyndon Johnson deserves far more credit than he is usually given

Q. Your book, Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960, follows a bitter controversy over biographer Robert Caro's dramatically negative view of Johnson. How do you differ with Caro's view of Lyndon Johnson as an amoral opportunist?

A. Mr. Caro sees Johnson as an utterly unprincipled man. The view is unrelenting. He believes Johnson wasn't a committed New Dealer but an opportunist who supported Roosevelt to get elected. Johnson is a monster. I don't agree. I see what the French call a monstre sacre ((holy monster)). Johnson was a scoundrel. He broke laws at every level of politics and...

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