Building the Great Society
Inside Lyndon Johnson's White House
How did President Lyndon Johnson engineer one of the biggest bursts of liberal legislation in American history? And did his vision of a Great Society successfully alleviate poverty and reduce inequality? In Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House (Viking, 2018), historian Joshua Zeitz takes you inside the Johnson White House and shows how Johnson’s tenacity, combined with a under-appreciated team of sharp advisors, crafted a set of government programs that continues to shape American life. Zeitz challenges the conservative critique of the Great Society as ineffectual, and also argues that the ideological approach of the Johnson administration was more moderate pragmatism than left-wing radicalism. Regardless of the reader’s political outlook, Building the Great Society provides an essential understanding into how this enormously consequential period of American history came to be.
Bill Scher is a Contributing Editor for POLITICO Magazine. He has provided political commentary on CNN, NPR and MSNBC. He has been published in The New York Times, The New Republic, and The New York Daily News among other publications. He is author of Wait! Don’t Move to Canada, published by Rodale in 2006.