Judgment Days by Nick Kotz
Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws That Changed America (.)

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Synopsis

Opposites in almost every way, mortally suspicious of each other at first, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr., were thrust together in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Both men sensed a historic opportunity and began a delicate dance of accommodation that moved them, and the entire nation, toward the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Drawing on a wealth of newly available sources -- Johnson's taped telephone conversations, voluminous FBI wiretap logs, previously secret communications between the FBI and the president -- Nick Kotz gives us a dramatic narrative, rich in dialogue, that presents this momentous period with thrilling immediacy. Judgment Days offers needed perspective on a presidency too often linked solely to the tragedy of Vietnam.
We watch Johnson applying the arm-twisting tactics that made him a legend in the Senate, and we follow King as he keeps the pressure on in the South through protest and passive resistance. King's pragmatism and strategic leadership and Johnson's deeply held commitment to a just society shaped the character of their alliance. Kotz traces the inexorable convergence of their paths to an intense joint effort that made civil rights a legislative reality at last, despite FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's vicious whispering campaign to destroy King.
Judgment Days also reveals how this spirit of teamwork disintegrated. The two leaders parted bitterly over King's opposition to the Vietnam War. In this first full account of the working relationship between Johnson and King, Kotz offers a detailed, surprising account that significantly enriches our understanding of both men and their time.
 

About Nick Kotz

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NICK KOTZ is the author of five previous books on politics, social justice, and the civil rights movement. A renowned journalist, he has received a Pulitzer Prize and a National Magazine Award. He lives in Broad Run, Virginia.
 
Published January 12, 2005 by Mariner Books. 560 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Before he left office in 1969, Johnson—buttressed by King’s brilliant work in the streets, churches, jailhouses and, eventually, the consciences of America—had directed the passage of several civil rights acts, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, open housing legislation, and education and health care...

Jan 12 2005 | Read Full Review of Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines ...

The New York Times

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''It is difficult to fight for freedom,'' Johnson declared in a radio address after signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Feb 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines ...

The New York Times

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In Nick Kotz's account, Lyndon Johnson emerges as a man of moral courage, speaking intolerable truth to his fellow white Southerners.

Feb 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines ...

Bookmarks Magazine

One week in 1968 saw two important departures from American politics: Lyndon Baines Johnson announced he would not run for reelection, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines ...

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