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Memoir by a former newsman Turned speech writer During the final months. Of President Lyndon B. Johnson's White House years. By Joseph H. Carter Sr.
Table of contents

  • The Johnson Treatment: Pushing And Persuading Like LBJ.
  • The Corpus Hermeticum;
  • Brought Out to Be Brought In: Sermons on Deuteronomy (Spurgeon Through the Scriptures).
  • Behind L.B.J.'s Decision Not to Run in '68?
  • Robert Caro: a life with LBJ and the pursuit of power.

And I knew I just wanted to get out of that car. The next time the car stopped, at a light or something, I just opened the door and got out. So I made a list of what I considered crusading newspapers, and—. The St.

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Louis Post-Dispatch , I remember, was on it, but [also] Newsday. So you got to Newsday , which, seemingly, was the job of your dreams. And one of the things you did, as I recall, you wrote a six-part series on a proposed bridge that was going to really dig into every ramification—political, financial, environmental—on this bridge in the New York area. Could you tell that story? Because it seemed to play a pivotal role in your career. Newsday assigned me to look into it.

And Newsday sent me up to Albany, and everybody seemed to understand that this was a terrible idea. So I wrote a story saying, basically, the bridge was dead. And I went on to other things. So I had a friend in Albany then. And I think you ought to come back up. And, not only that, the state was going to pay for getting it started. So, I remember driving home from Albany that night was a hundred and sixty-three miles to my home in Roslyn.

Lyndon B. Johnson - Presidency, Facts & Vietnam War - Biography

And in a democracy power comes from being elected, from our votes at a ballot box. So here was a man, Robert Moses, who had never been elected to anything, but he had more power than a mayor and governor put together. And he had held this power for forty-four years, almost half a century, and with it he had shaped New York City. He built six hundred and twenty-seven miles of parkways and expressways, every modern bridge in New York, reshaped the whole park system, et cetera. And I realized, driving home that night, neither does anybody else. That power is something invisible to even the most entrepreneurial newspaper reporter.

Were there biographies, were there books, were there things that you were reading that impressed you as a potential model?

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You will be learning something, and teaching some, about political power. So at first I actually thought I was going to do it as a long series, you know. And then I just said, No, I can never do this as a series, it has to be a book. So I at that time knew only one editor in the entire world in the book world. So you went to town.

Now, at a certain point in your research, you had a meeting with some of the public-relations guys that were around Robert Moses.

How Did LBJ Make His Money? The Disturbing Story of His Political Rise and Corruption (1990)

What happened? Well, they said to me, you know, many people, some famous writers, had started doing biographies of Robert Moses, but none had ever done one. And I guess it was said to them, pretty much, what [the P. Well, I knew by that time I was going to do the book.

The consequences of his Great Society have been profound.

But I had to figure out a way to interview these people. So what I did, actually, was I drew a series of concentric circles on a piece of paper. And in the center I put a dot. The dot was Robert Moses, and the innermost circle was his family. And then, the next one, his friends. Now, why do you think that he eventually wanted to see you? Because he felt the hot breath of the reporter getting closer? But this is the only explanation I ever got.

He said that Commissioner Moses—they all called him Commissioner all the time—had realized that finally someone had come along who was going to do the biography whether he wanted it or not. And, you know, maybe you disagree with me, but Robert Moses was not the subject of countless books at that time. Political attention on the front page of newspapers went elsewhere, to officeholders, world leaders, and all the rest. He did not hold an exalted-seeming office. Is it possible that he was, in some perverse way, flattered by your attentions?

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I gave it my best try. What was Robert Moses in it for? Robert Moses was in it to build his dreams. You know, as a young man he did wonderful things, and his dreams were incredible. But he learns how to accomplish them by using power. And then he changes.

The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives

And so he starts to build different kinds of projects. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Kindle Edition. Carter has a modest style, which understates the excitement of a country boy standing at the brink of history.

Lyndon B. Johnson

In the background you can hear the thunder of a long war grinding on alternating with the roar of Americans protesting in the streets. Inside the White House it is quiet.

We read the low-key account of a junior staffer sipping vodka and lime juice with exhausted speechwriters as he reads a letter from his second-grade teacher. One person found this helpful. There was a problem loading comments right now. Showing 0 comments. Sort by: Newest Oldest. Need customer service? Click here. There's a problem loading this menu right now.

Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Following those victories, Johnson and his team were the architects of two new massive entitlement programs that would provide health care for older Americans and for the poor, Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare had about 20 million people enrolled by ; there are 60 million today; there will be 80 million within two decades. Medicaid began with 4 million beneficiaries; today, that number is 70 million. New programs emerged in a steady stream—food stamps, arts and humanities agencies, environmental edicts, a new Department of Transportation, and a new Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The modern welfare state was born.