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The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69

5. The Vietnam War

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the Johnson’s handling of the Vietnam War, focusing in particular on: (i) the centrality of the Vietnam War to assessments of Johnson’s success as President; (ii) the extent to which the war relates to other aspects of Johnson’s Presidency, especially Civil Rights and the Great Society; (iii) the situation in Vietnam when Johnson became President, and the extent to which he was bound to continue the policies of his predecessors, Kennedy and Eisenhower; (iv) the reasons for his failure in Vietnam; and (v) Johnson’s foreign policy achievements outside of Vietnam, especially in Latin America and the Middle East, and the extent to which these are overshadowed by Vietnam.


In this course, Dr Thomas Tunstall Allcock (University of Manchester) explores the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69). The first module provides an introduction to Johnson himself, his personality and policies in comparison with the presidents that preceded and followed him – Kennedy and Nixon. In the second module, we think about four important contexts for Johnson’s presidency – three domestic, one international – before turning in the third module to consider the set of domestic reforms known as Johnson’s Great Society. In the fourth module, we consider Johnson’s record on civil rights, before turning in the fifth module to think about the importance of the Vietnam War in assessments of Johnson’s presidency. Finally, in the sixth module, we provide an overview of Johnson’s presidency, thinking about the overall arc of his administration – from early successes to later challenges – his major achievements, his failures, and his longer-term legacy.


Dr Tom Tunstall Allcock is a lecturer in American history at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War, with particular interests in U.S.-Latin American relations, presidential history and diplomacy, and the cultural history of the Cold War.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Tunstall Allcock, T. (2020, January 14). The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69 - The Vietnam War [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Tunstall Allcock, T. "The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69 – The Vietnam War." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Jan 2020,