Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson's White house

Most books about the thirty-sixth president focus on the contradictory personal and political traits of this “flawed giant”: master of the Senate, legislative genius, crass political operator, unbridled opportunist, idealist, champion of the poor – a progressive champion whose great domestic works were undone by a quagmire (Vietnam) of his own making. Though he assembled a talented and dynamic staff that managed in the space of five years to double the size of the American welfare state, most historians focus on how one individual—Lyndon Johnson—stewarded major legislation through Congress in 1964 and 1965. Left untold is the story of what came next—how his White House built Medicare and Medicaid from ground up, transformed K-12 education, provided food security to tens of millions of impoverished children and adults, invented public television and radio, and restructured the federal government’s relationship with ordinary citizens on a scale unseen since Franklin Roosevelt’s much longer tenure in office. All while desegregating one-third of the nation. Building the Great Society begins where the conventional story ends. (Publication date: January 30, 2018)