1968 was an unprecedented year in terms of upheaval on numerous scales: political, military, economic, social, cultural. In the United States, perhaps no one was more undone by the events of 1968 than President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Kyle Longley leads his readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of what Johnson characterized as the 'year of a continuous nightmare'. Longley explores how LBJ perceived the most significant events of 1968, including the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy, and the violent Democratic National Convention in Chicago. His responses to the crises were sometimes effective but often tragic, and LBJ's refusal to seek re-election underscores his recognition of the challenges facing the country in 1968. As much a biography of a single year as it is of LBJ, LBJ's 1968 vividly captures the tumult that dominated the headlines on a local and global level.
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
01 June 2018
Professional and scholarly
1. A nation on the brink: the state of the Union Address, January 1968; 2. Those dirty bastards, are they trying to embarrass us? The Pueblo Incident, January-December 1968; 3: Tet: a very near thing, January-March 1968; 4. As a result, I will not seek re-election: the March 31, 1968 speech; 5. The days the Earth stood still: the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, April 1968; 6. He hated him, but loved him: the assassination of Robert Kennedy, June 1968; 7. The big stumble: the Fortas Affair, June-October 1968; 8: The tanks are rolling: Czechoslovakia crushed, August 1968; 9: The perfect disaster: the democratic national convention, August 1968; 10. Is this treason?: The October surprise that wasn't, October-December 1968; 11. The last dance, January 1969; Conclusion; Glossary; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Reviews for LBJ's 1968: Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America's Year of Upheaval
'Countless historians have picked apart 1968, but Kyle Longley is the first to go inside the head of the man who, more than anyone else, defined that year - and with a style and precision that somehow makes an account of a terrible time a joy to read.' Clay Risen, The New York Times '1968 was a turbulent year in our country and a year when President Lyndon Johnson encountered what seemed like an endless series of crises. Kyle Longley has depicted the tone of the times and captured the dilemmas and decisions of LBJ in this compelling book that should be read by any student of that eventful year.' Larry Temple, Special Counsel to President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, Chairman of the LBJ Foundation 'Like King Lear, Lyndon Johnson gave away his power before the end of the play. Kyle Longley's Texas-size epic reveals the tragedy, comedy, pathos, and heroism in the extraordinary events that followed that fateful year, 1968, as seen through the eyes of an American giant.' Elizabeth Cobbs, author of American Umpire 'From the Pueblo crisis to the Chennault affair, 1968 was a year like no other, and Kyle Longley's fast-paced, richly detailed narrative splendidly captures the ups - and mostly downs - from the vantage point of LBJ's White House.' George C. Herring, author of The American Century and Beyond 'Kyle Longley has penned a vivid and insightful portrait of one of the most tumultuous and significant years in American history.' Randall B. Woods, University of Arkansas 'Kyle Longley offers an insightful portrayal of arguably the most complex American president of the Cold War era. What emerges is a fresh appraisal of Lyndon Johnson, a tragic figure contesting the forces of history. In an innovative biographical approach, Longley takes us inside LBJ's White House during the tumultuous year of 1968. An outstanding work by a master storyteller.' Gregory A. Daddis, Chapman University, California