An intimate, compulsively readable memoir by LBJ's closest aide and chief speechwriter.
"I have made up my mind. I can't get peace in Vietnam and be President too." So begins this posthumously discovered account of Lyndon Johnson's final days in office. The Thirty-first of March is an indelible portrait of a president and a presidency at a time of crisis, and spans twenty years of a close working and personal relationship between Johnson and Horace Busby.
It was Busby's job to "put a little Churchill " into Johnson's orations, and his skill earned him a position of trust in Johnson's staff from the earliest days of Johnson's career as a congressman in Texas to the twilight of his presidency. From the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination when Busby was asked by the newly sworn-in President to sit by his bedside during his first troubled nights in office, to the concerns that defined the Great Society, Busby not only articulated and refined Johnson's political thinking, he helped shape the most ambitious, far-reaching legislative agenda since FDR's New Deal.
Here is Johnson the politician, Johnson the schemer, Johnson who advised against JFK riding in an open limousine that fateful day in Dallas, and Johnson the father, sickened by the men fighting and dying in Vietnam on his behalf. The Thirty-first of March is a rare glimpse into the inner sanctum of Johnson's presidency.
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Published February 21, 2006
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War.