Today, many younger Texans may be inclined to think of Lady Bird Johnson as belonging entirely to the past. But if her demeanor and style seemed faintly anachronistic, the virtues instilled by her parents back in East Texas—practicality, thriftiness, good manners, and an open mind—made her remarkably effective as a first lady, more so than some of her “modern” successors.
Working on his memoir one day in 1969, LBJ spoke more frankly into a tape recorder about the Kennedys, Vietnam, and other subjects than he ever had before. The transcript of that tape has never been published—until now. Michael Beschloss explains its historical significance.
No one denies that there was love at the center of Lady Bird Johnson’s marriage to LBJ. But like Hillary Clinton, she endured quite a bit, spousally speaking, as her husband’s star was on the rise.