LBJ's 1968 by Kyle Longley
reviewed by Marc Schulman
There can be no question that the premier biographer of President Lyndon Baines Johnson is Robert Caro, who has spent the last 40 years writing a multiyear biography of LBJ. The 82-year-old Caro released his latest volume in 2012 which ends in his first months in power. Caro is said to be deep in writing the final volume that will tell the story of the rest of the Johnson Presidency as well as his life after the Presidency. Caro recently said that it would take anywhere from another 2 to 10 years to complete. For those who cannot wait for Kyle Longley of Arizona State University has authored a fascinating book LBJ’s 1968. The book opens with LBJ preparing for his State of the Union, still mulling over whether he was going to run again and proceeds to tell the tale of that fateful year from the perspective of LBJ.
For those who want to understand the 60’s, American politics and the presidency the book is a must-read. It takes us through LBJ’s decision not to run, the Nixon election and the end of the Presidency. The book sheds lights on key decisions during that very fateful year. In the second chapter of the book, Longley describes the discussion around the capture of the USS Pueblo by the North Koreans. One of the interesting nuggets she describes is the plan was put in place to bomb the ship, but that the mission was considered a suicide mission with none of the pilots expected to survive.
I highly recommend the book.
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