September 9, 1990 |
The historian-as-flatterer staked out a point of view on a bright Maine morning. David Valdez slowly twisted his camera's lens, focusing on the President. He saw every tick, every emotion yet recorded a selective moment. On this warm summer day, when George Bush was managing a diplomatic crisis in the Middle East--and his vacation--Valdez, the President's personal photographer, faithfully trailed after him.
March 13, 1990 |
Everything about Lyndon Baines Johnson was outsized. His physical bulk, his energy, his ambition, his tirades, his deceptions and even his ears made Johnson a political mega-force. No less forceful is the work of Robert Caro.
July 14, 1989 |
It is only 25 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson first declared his hopes and plans for a Great Society in America, but his words now sound as distant and strange as echoes from another epoch in another world. So remote do those times seem to the present era of budget restraints and hands-off government that the anniversary of Johnson's speech launching the Great Society--May 22, 1964, at the University of Michigan--passed entirely without notice.
November 29, 1988 |
In mid-January, Laurence Luckinbill will go to Austin, Tex., for a 3-day run of his one-man show "Lyndon Johnson." Playing L.B.J. in Austin is fairly comparable to doing J.F.K. in Hyannisport, Mass., H.S.T. in Independence, Mo., or F.D.R. in Hyde Park, N.Y. It has to be daunting for Luckinbill. Lyndon Johnson died only 15 years ago and memories will be fresh. "I will stop in Johnson City and ask for an L.B.J.
September 14, 1988 |
Richard N. Goodwin has grown bored with the questions about why he wrote such mean things about Lyndon Baines Johnson. "I'm not saying anything mean about Johnson," Goodwin said in an interview in his living room here. His voice was less testy than resigned; this was not the first time he had been asked about his iconoclasm, and he was not the first person to write that Johnson was difficult or that he sometimes received guests while seated on the toilet.
March 31, 1988 |
The President took a folded sheet of paper from his coat pocket, and to a small group of family members and house guests assembled for luncheon on the second floor of the White House, he read the stunning final paragraph of a speech he was scheduled to deliver on national television that evening. It was March 31, 1968--20 years ago today.
April 8, 1987 |
"Mah fellow Americans." How easy it is--and was--to caricature Lyndon Baines Johnson, whose presidency was sandwiched by the tragedies of Dallas and Vietnam. Show him rough and crude and elephant-eared and Texas and manipulative and intimidating and predatory, peering through his eyeglasses at a squirming, about-to-be-scrunched political victim. American Presidents are made for exaggeration because their lives and burdens--and consequently faults--are already larger than life.