LBJ and the Great Society

LBJ and the Great Society
A larger-than-life President and a transformative moment in American history, revealed through little-known recordings from the White House.

S2 Ep 4 - Medicine Man
Feb 25 • 31 min
FDR, Harry Truman, and JFK all attempted to pass some form of universal health care — but no one had gotten even close. Johnson believed he might succeed where his predecessors had failed, at least for the country’s elderly, but to do so he would have to…
S2 Ep 3 - The Bully Pulpit
Feb 18 • 32 min
“We will not win our war against poverty until the conscience of the entire Nation is aroused,” LBJ told an aide. But how to do that when most Americans were doing reasonably well and barely knew poverty was an issue? Somehow LBJ would have to convince a…
S2 Ep 2 - Mr. Poverty
Feb 11 • 25 min
“I didn’t know a damn thing about poverty and didn’t want the job,” Sargent Shriver would later recall, of his conversation with the president, “and I told him so.” But it was no use: Lyndon Johnson had fixed on Shriver to lead his newly declared war on…
S2 Ep 1 - The Great Unveiling
Feb 4 • 26 min
On the night of JFK’s assassination, with the nation reeling, Lyndon Johnson stayed up much of the night with two young aides, and laid out a list of legislative initiatives he proposed to pursue. In its scope, vision, and sheer audacity, the list was…
Trailer - Welcome to LBJ and the Great Society
Jan 20 • 2 min
While President Lyndon B. Johnson is remembered today largely for his failure in Vietnam, this podcast tells a different story, revealing his unprecedented success in shaping domestic politics. Medicare, civil and voting rights, clean air and water, Head…
Epilog: “I Shall Not Seek…”
Oct 3, 2017 • 51 min
Lyndon Johnson’s March ‘68 announcement, that he would not seek re-election, stunned the nation and the world, and marked the effective end of a political career that had once seemed bound for Rushmore-level greatness. This special, long-form edition of…
S1 Ep 6 LBJ’s War - The Shock of Tet
Sep 26, 2017 • 24 min
“Whammo, we got caught with our pants down,” a CIA analyst says of the Tet Offensive, the massive surprise attack that North Vietnam launched against American and South Vietnamese forces in the pre-dawn hours of January 31st, 1968. Just what exactly…
S1 Ep 5 LBJ’s War - The Preacher and the President
Sep 19, 2017 • 21 min
“I’ll try to be worthy of your hopes,” LBJ told Martin Luther King, just days into his presidency, and for the next two years, largely made good on that vow. Dr. King, for his part, recognized their common goal – racial and economic justice – and threw…
S1 Ep 4 LBJ’s War - Parting the Curtains
Sep 12, 2017 • 22 min
For fifteen months, LBJ kept the country largely in the dark about the Vietnam War. Then, in February ’66, the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and its chairman William Fulbright, administered a strong dose of sunlight.
S1 Ep 3 LBJ’s War - The Carrot and the Stick
Sep 5, 2017 • 18 min
By the spring of 1965, pressure is building on President Johnson to make his case for the war to the American electorate. He resists, preferring to manage the conflict without public scrutiny, but finally agrees to go public, in a speech at Johns Hopkins…
S1 Ep 2 LBJ’s War - The Tonkin Incident(s)
Sep 5, 2017 • 23 min
Twice in six weeks, in the late summer of 1964, U.S. destroyers reported they were under unprovoked attack, by North Vietnamese PT boats, while on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin. The first incident produced a massive airstrike in retaliation, and three days…
S1 Ep. 1 LBJ’s War - The Churchill of Asia
Sep 5, 2017 • 17 min
“They started with me on Diem,” LBJ told an old friend, “that he was corrupt, and he ought to be killed. So, we killed him.” Not quite true, it turns out, but the brutal assassination of South Vietnam’s President Diem, just three weeks before JFK met the…
Trailer - Welcome to LBJ’s War
Aug 28, 2017 • 4 min
LBJ’s War is a podcast that tells the story of LBJ’s failure in Vietnam and fall from grace in the voices of those who were there.