Recommended: Alan Dale speaks with Joan Mellen about her new book “Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas.”
Tag Archive for LBJ
In her new book about Lyndon Johnson, Faustian Bargains, Joan Mellen does something all too rare in the world of JFK research. She checked an oft-asserted “fact,” and found it isn’t a fact at all, but a fiction.
But first, the book. Faustian Bargains is intended less as a biography of LBJ than a portrait of the “robber baron culture” of Texas” and corrective to Robert Caro’s magisterial multi-volume biography, which Mellen scorns for its favorable depiction of LBJ’s political skills and legislative accomplishments.
The movie chronicles LBJ’s private fears, questions, and ideological splits with Kennedy before the rivals became running mates—and how JFK’s assassination changed LBJ’s politics. “He did adopt a big swath of JFK’s policies so it would be hard to not see it that way,” said Harrelson. “I’m not sure how much of it was motivated by his depth of emotion or by what he considered to be politically expedient. It’s really hard to read him. He’s a fascinating character.”
Our 7th podcast. This week we discuss:
Donald Trump isn’t the first.
While the front-running candidate’s fact-free claim that Ted Cruz’s father once associated with accused assassin Lee Oswald, has provoked criticism, at least five previous inhabitants of the Oval Office have expressed strong opinions related to the Kennedy assassination story. Read more
Defenders of the semi-official theory of JFK’s assassination sometimes suggest that anyone who disagrees is deluded or dishonest. Dale Myers and Gus Russo have dubbed the benighted souls “the conspirati,” a term intended to convey disdain for those allegedly emotionally needy or intellectually incompetent people who doubt the claim that one man killed JFK for no reason.
The problem with this trope, alas, is the facts. There were plenty of astute observers of American power in 1963 who rejected the official theory of a “lone nut” and concluded President Kennedy had been killed by his enemies.
Here are six six U.S. government insiders in 1963 who suspected a JFK was killed by a conspiracy.
Audio flashback: On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson and FBI Director J Edgar Hoover discussed how to investigate the mysterious assassination of President Kennedy. (H/T DVP and
Dan Hardway offers another gem of historic audio to our discussion of how Allen Dulles came to be named to the Warren Commission. He cites this phone call that President Johnson made to Allen Dulles on November 29, 1963, informing him he would be on the Commission.
Listen to the conversation here:
Listen to this fascinating telephone call in June 1964 between President Lyndon Johnson, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and former CIA director Allen Dulles.
In the call, LBJ and RFK prevail upon Dulles to serve as the president’s personal emissar
y to Mississippi after disappearance of the three civil rights workers.
Which is the most telling exchange between the two men?
(H/T Jean, Dan, and Jim)
Now comes word that “LBJ” has found its RFK. And, as it did with its casting of former first lady Jacquelyn Kennedy, the Rob Reiner-directed presidential biopic is turning to a relative newcomer to fill the role. According to Variety, Michael Stahl-David of “Cloverfield” and HBO’s “Show Me a Hero” has signed on to play former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in Reiner’s film, which is scheduled to start shooting in New Orleans this month.”
This call between JFK’s widow, Jackie Kennedy, and LBJ, took place about 10 days after President Kennedy’s assassination: via LBJ and Jacqueline Kennedy—Miller Center.
Today, March 21, 2015, marks the 50th anniversary of the final of the three historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches protesting voting discrimination in the South.
During the first march, held March 7, the nation was shocked as it bore witness to the unchecked brutality Alabama state troopers unleashed upon peaceful marchers. The violence resulted in 2,000 U.S. troops joining 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard to keep the peace during the final day of protest.
But in the lead up to that day, President Lyndon Johnson had to lobby Alabama Governor George Wallace to call up the National Guard. In this March 18, 1965, phone call, Wallace insists that state authorities could handle the situation, while allowing that he couldn’t promise that “nobody’s gonna get hit by a rock.”
He uses the JFK assassination to make his point (begins at the 11:00 minute mark):