Get JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents PDF

By Godfrey Hodgson

ISBN-10: 0300180500

ISBN-13: 9780300180503

As a tender White condo correspondent throughout the Kennedy and Johnson years in Washington, D.C., Godfrey Hodgson had a ringside seat masking the final nice presidents of the USA, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, males who couldn't were extra diversified. Kennedy’s wit and rushing sort, his renown as a countrywide conflict hero, and his Ivy League Boston Brahmin heritage stood in sharp distinction to Lyndon Johnson’s rural, humble origins in Texas, his blunt, forceful (but potent) political sort, his lackluster profession within the military, and his grassroots populist instincts. Hodgson, a sharp-eyed witness during the tenure of those nice males, now deals us a brand new point of view enriched by way of his reflections considering the fact that that point a half-century in the past. He bargains us a clean, dispassionate distinction of those nice males through stripping away the myths to evaluate their achievements, finally asking no matter if Johnson has been misjudged. He means that LBJ accept his due by way of historical past, arguing that he used to be as nice a president as, maybe even more than, JFK.
The seed that grew into this ebook used to be the author’s early conception that JFK’s functionality in workplace was once mostly hyped up whereas LBJ’s used to be regularly underrated. Hodgson asks key questions: If Kennedy had lived, might he have matched Johnson’s formidable nice Society achievements? could he have shunned Johnson’s disastrous dedication in Vietnam? might Nixon were elected his successor, and if now not, how might American politics and events glance this day? Hodgson combines full of life anecdotes with sober analyses to reach at new conclusions in regards to the U.S. presidency and of the main charismatic figures ever to manipulate from the Oval Office.

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The Kennedys fulfilled in many particulars Max Weber’s portrait of the charismatic leader. This, Weber was at pains to explain, could be an inspired political or religious leader, or the leader of a band of robbers. In any case, his leader must possess charisma, or personal grace and charm. But this quality is morally neutral: he, or perhaps she, can be anyone from Ned Kelly or Spartacus to Mahomet or Jesus Christ. The charismatic leader does not, however, attract his followers, whom Weber called the “charismatic horde,” by mere personal qualities.

If this incident had occurred in Rabat, no doubt I would have endured a terrible fate at the hands of General Oufkir, the king’s chief torturer, and his experts. As it was, President Kennedy, who seemed not particularly fond of His Moroccan Majesty, was amused by his discomfiture. 1 So I walked slowly along the street, the Secret Service discreetly fanned out behind us, with the amused president and the ruffled king. 27 28 T h e Ac tors I desperately sought for some witty jest or brilliant aperçu that would bring me to the president’s attention, but none came.

After the peace, some even tried to set up a joint Anglo-American foreign policy research institution: it survived as two separate but friendly entities, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (“Chatham House”) in London. At the same time, friendly contacts in banking, business, and the law, not to mention competitive (and relatively expensive) sports like golf, tennis, and ocean yachting, brought the British and American elites together. The Times of London was bought Li fe I s U n fa i r 45 by one Astor, the Observer later by another, and a third Astor, the former Nancy Witcher Langhorne of Virginia, was in 1919 the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons of the British Parliament.

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JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents by Godfrey Hodgson

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