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The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69

5. What was Johnson's legacy?

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about Johnson's legacy as president, focusing in particular: (i) Johnson's reputation when he left the White House in January 1969; (ii) the extent to which the Vietnam War undermined the Truman Doctrine; (iii) the extent to which 1968 represented a major turning-point in US politics, with the Republican party winning five of the next six presidential elections; (iv) the two major electoral shifts following Johnson's presidency, including the defection of white southern conservatives to the Republican party; (v) the extent to which Johnson might have prevented the collapse of the liberal consensus had his Great Society reforms been less ambitious and far-reaching; (vi) the character of Johnson himself; and (vi) the two major works on the presidency of Lyndon Johnson: that of Robert Caro – The Years of Lyndon Johnson (1982-2012) – and that of Robert Dallek – Lone Star Rising (1991) and Flawed Giant (1998).


In this course, Professor Mark White (Queen Mary, University of London) explores the life, political career and presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson through five key questions: (1) How did Johnson rise to power?; (2) Why did Johnson go to war in Vietnam?; (3) Why could Johnson not win in Vietnam?; (4) Why did Johnson launch the Great Society and how successful was it?; and (5) What was Johnson's legacy?


Mark White is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London, specialising in US foreign policy in the Cold War and the US presidency since 1945. His recent publications include Against the President: Dissent and Decision-Making in the White House (2007) and The Presidency of Bill Clinton: The Legacy of a New Domestic and Foreign Policy (2012)

Cite this Lecture

APA style

White, M. (2021, March 15). The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69 - What was Johnson's legacy? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

White, M. "The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69 – What was Johnson's legacy?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Mar 2021,