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Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President

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A fresh look at Lady Bird Johnson that upends her image as a plain Jane who was married for her money and mistreated by Lyndon. This Lady Bird worked quietly behind the scenes through every campaign, every illness, and a trying presidency as a key strategist, fundraiser, barnstormer, peacemaker, and indispensable therapist. Lady Bird grew up the daughter of a domineering fa A fresh look at Lady Bird Johnson that upends her image as a plain Jane who was married for her money and mistreated by Lyndon. This Lady Bird worked quietly behind the scenes through every campaign, every illness, and a trying presidency as a key strategist, fundraiser, barnstormer, peacemaker, and indispensable therapist. Lady Bird grew up the daughter of a domineering father and a cultured but fragile mother. When a tall, pushy Texan named Lyndon showed up in her life, she knew what she wanted: to leave the rural Texas of her childhood and experience the world like her mother dreamed, while climbing the mountain of ambition she inherited from her father. She married Lyndon within weeks, and the bargain they struck was tacitly agreed upon in the courtship letters they exchanged: this highly gifted politician would take her away, and she would save him from his weaknesses. The conventional story goes that Lyndon married Lady Bird for her money, demeaned her by flaunting his many affairs, and that her legacy was protecting the nation’s wildflowers. But she was actually a full political partner throughout his ascent—the one who swooped in to make the key call to a donor, to keep the team united, to campaign in hostile territory, and to jumpstart him out of his paralyzing darkness. And while others were shocked that she put up with his womanizing, she always knew she had the upper hand. Lady Bird began the partnership by using part of her nest egg to help finance Lyndon’s first political campaign. Over and over, she kept him from quitting, including the 1948 election when he was so immobilized with self-pity that she had to pick up the phone to solicit donations on his behalf. She was also the one who got him out of bed, when he was in a deep funk, to go to the 1964 Democratic nominating convention. In Lady Bird and Lyndon, Betty Boyd Caroli restores Lady Bird to her rightful place in history, painting a vivid portrait of a marriage with complex, but familiar and identifiable overtones.


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A fresh look at Lady Bird Johnson that upends her image as a plain Jane who was married for her money and mistreated by Lyndon. This Lady Bird worked quietly behind the scenes through every campaign, every illness, and a trying presidency as a key strategist, fundraiser, barnstormer, peacemaker, and indispensable therapist. Lady Bird grew up the daughter of a domineering fa A fresh look at Lady Bird Johnson that upends her image as a plain Jane who was married for her money and mistreated by Lyndon. This Lady Bird worked quietly behind the scenes through every campaign, every illness, and a trying presidency as a key strategist, fundraiser, barnstormer, peacemaker, and indispensable therapist. Lady Bird grew up the daughter of a domineering father and a cultured but fragile mother. When a tall, pushy Texan named Lyndon showed up in her life, she knew what she wanted: to leave the rural Texas of her childhood and experience the world like her mother dreamed, while climbing the mountain of ambition she inherited from her father. She married Lyndon within weeks, and the bargain they struck was tacitly agreed upon in the courtship letters they exchanged: this highly gifted politician would take her away, and she would save him from his weaknesses. The conventional story goes that Lyndon married Lady Bird for her money, demeaned her by flaunting his many affairs, and that her legacy was protecting the nation’s wildflowers. But she was actually a full political partner throughout his ascent—the one who swooped in to make the key call to a donor, to keep the team united, to campaign in hostile territory, and to jumpstart him out of his paralyzing darkness. And while others were shocked that she put up with his womanizing, she always knew she had the upper hand. Lady Bird began the partnership by using part of her nest egg to help finance Lyndon’s first political campaign. Over and over, she kept him from quitting, including the 1948 election when he was so immobilized with self-pity that she had to pick up the phone to solicit donations on his behalf. She was also the one who got him out of bed, when he was in a deep funk, to go to the 1964 Democratic nominating convention. In Lady Bird and Lyndon, Betty Boyd Caroli restores Lady Bird to her rightful place in history, painting a vivid portrait of a marriage with complex, but familiar and identifiable overtones.

30 review for Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President

  1. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    This is a biography of the Johnson marriage as experienced by Lady Bird. Betty Boyd Caroli clearly admires Lady Bird and presents her views, commitment to her husband and her sacrifice for him in a favorable light. First you get a short family history and childhood/young adult sketch of each. You learn how they got together and their attraction. Lady Bird sought the excitement that a man like her father could provide and found it in Lyndon. Lyndon saw her ambition and talent and all round good p This is a biography of the Johnson marriage as experienced by Lady Bird. Betty Boyd Caroli clearly admires Lady Bird and presents her views, commitment to her husband and her sacrifice for him in a favorable light. First you get a short family history and childhood/young adult sketch of each. You learn how they got together and their attraction. Lady Bird sought the excitement that a man like her father could provide and found it in Lyndon. Lyndon saw her ambition and talent and all round good partner. Plagued by temper and mood swings he needed her to not only calm him down, but to keep him on track (sometimes get him out of bed) and smooth things over when he was too overbearing, insulting or just plain crude with others. While the Johnson style and outlook was middle class neither their family life nor income was. The couple’s entire personal life was consumed by career and their daughters were raised by others. While Lady Bird sold the family's used furniture and moved across the country driving her own car, her business acumen provided a substantial financial base that allowed Lyndon to take the risk of running for office.. Lady Bird was the archetypical 1950’s wife, patiently sacrificing all for “her man” and excusing emotional abuse and his intrusion on her prerogatives. I could not help but wonder how many corporate wives and wives of entrepreneurs lived under the same constraints and double standards as Lady Bird. There is very little on the Nov. 22, 1963 but quite a bit on the aftermath. The Kennedy staff never accepted the Johnson's who were aware of how their education was viewed by the ivy leaguers. The Manchester book and other accounts of them at the time were hurtful. They made changes in the White House living/public arrangements and wondered: Should they be caretakers? Should Lady Bird adopt a project? The book presented a whole new way of looking at Lyndon Johnson: • His mood swings were so extreme that had this been a different era, he may have been diagnosed with a mental illness. • The decision not to “seek … or accept… the nomination” was not an abrupt one. It had been brewing almost from the day of his inauguration. • Johnson believed in the domino theory. Lady Bird did not. Lucy told her father that if her husband died in Vietnam, she’d never forgive him. • Unlike John Kennedy, Johnson did not try to hide his many affairs from Lady Bird. This was one of many areas when Lady Bird stoically carried the burden of Lyndon’s personal and mental issues. Caroli gives a portrait of this marriage in its day to day operation as well as through the events shared by the public. The research is enriched by interviews with many who knew the Johnsons. While the book is about the marriage and domestic issues, not policy, this background casts the Johnson administration in a whole new light.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dee Dee G

    This was so well written. I have no idea how anyone could put up with LBJ. Lady Bird was a strong woman to put up with him, but she loved him. I learned so much about Mrs. Johnson from this book. Reading the parts about LBJ made me want to yank my hair out. He was something else. Yikes

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Bill Moyers called LBJ "thirteen of the most exasperating men I ever met." I believe it, and I believe Lady Bird is easily thirteen of the most fascinating women I've ever read about. She was of her times but also a generation or two ahead. One of the most long suffering wives you'll ever read about, but a trailblazing feminist (without calling herself so), too. Her intelligence, grace, discipline, and robust spirit are astonishing. And somehow, through her devoted lens, the complex and frustrat Bill Moyers called LBJ "thirteen of the most exasperating men I ever met." I believe it, and I believe Lady Bird is easily thirteen of the most fascinating women I've ever read about. She was of her times but also a generation or two ahead. One of the most long suffering wives you'll ever read about, but a trailblazing feminist (without calling herself so), too. Her intelligence, grace, discipline, and robust spirit are astonishing. And somehow, through her devoted lens, the complex and frustrating Lyndon becomes more sympathetic and compelling, too. They have both moved me deeply on these pages, but Lady Bird...my Lord, she was amazing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Glencoe Public Library

    While countless books have been written on both Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson individually, very little has been published about their relationship with one another and how it shaped American history. However, in her new book, Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made a President, Betty Boyd Caroli seeks to do just that, showing how Lady Bird’s charm and intelligence helped smooth over Lyndon’s rough edges, further his career in Washington, and even carve out one of the most While countless books have been written on both Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson individually, very little has been published about their relationship with one another and how it shaped American history. However, in her new book, Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made a President, Betty Boyd Caroli seeks to do just that, showing how Lady Bird’s charm and intelligence helped smooth over Lyndon’s rough edges, further his career in Washington, and even carve out one of the most substantial records ever for a sitting First Lady.This book covers the time period from Lyndon’s birth in 1908 to Lady Bird’s death in 2007. Caroli, who is the author of The Roosevelt Women and other biographical works on First Ladies, explores not only Lady Bird’s role in her husband’s career (she was instrumental in creating the environment in which he needed to thrive) but also her own personal achievements. Those accomplishments are remarkable on their own; Lady Bird oversaw massive land beautification projects and was also instrumental in the passing of conservation legislation. At the same time, she ran a multimillion dollar media empire that she created from a single unproductive Austin radio station that she purchased in 1943.While this book does not discover any long lost secret or present a lot of new information on the pair, it does provide a very intimate and fascinating look into the personal lives and public accomplishments of one of the most illustrious and successful power couples in American history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Young

    I guess the main take away is paradox. We owe a lot to Lady Bird and, in truth, to Lyndon Johnson. But it was hard to read—even as a side story—about his awfulness and his unfettered power and decisions as to Vietnam, as much as I loved reading about how wonderful she was. In the midst of reading, Black SCOTUS Thursday happened, so take this all with a grain of salt. As to the book It’s hard for my modern brain to understand, both how in the world she lived with it and how he remained in power. I guess the main take away is paradox. We owe a lot to Lady Bird and, in truth, to Lyndon Johnson. But it was hard to read—even as a side story—about his awfulness and his unfettered power and decisions as to Vietnam, as much as I loved reading about how wonderful she was. In the midst of reading, Black SCOTUS Thursday happened, so take this all with a grain of salt. As to the book It’s hard for my modern brain to understand, both how in the world she lived with it and how he remained in power. But then, his paranoia and womanizing sounds exactly like what is in the office now. Maybe this is a good read for young ladies to see what this new age will usher back in? There is so much to be gleaned from these pages about what Lady Bird did as the First Lady and how she modernized the role. Perhaps the reason I feel so despairing, besides because of what happened with the Senate Judiciary Committee as I was reading, is because the author saved a lot of the worst aspects of LBJ’s womanizing and soundness of mind and power entitlement for one of the last few chapters of the book. This effected the take away, bursting the high bubble I’d ridden on throughout most of the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    “Her contemporaries continued to be appalled by what they saw as her complaisance, and they questioned why she did not strike back at what sounded like excessive, even abusive demands. But she understood how important it was to keep him on an even keel. She strongly objected to descriptions of her as being treated unfairly and once told her daughter that Lyndon was my ‘lover, my friend, my identity.’ She understood that she not only contributed to his success but found her power through him. The “Her contemporaries continued to be appalled by what they saw as her complaisance, and they questioned why she did not strike back at what sounded like excessive, even abusive demands. But she understood how important it was to keep him on an even keel. She strongly objected to descriptions of her as being treated unfairly and once told her daughter that Lyndon was my ‘lover, my friend, my identity.’ She understood that she not only contributed to his success but found her power through him. The need for a woman to assert an identity of her own, separate and apart from her husband’s, belonged to a later generation–not hers.” That above paragraph, from Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President, pretty much sums up Betty Boyd Caroli's theory of what made Lady Bird Johnson tick. She had the same ambitions, the same interests, the same desires for new places and situations that her husband had. Marrying him was going to hopefully give her a more exciting life than the one she had, and give her a job she would throughly enjoy. Mrs. Johnson had two college degrees and family money when she met Lyndon Johnson. He proposed right away, and the longstanding belief is he married her strictly for her money. While he may have very well married her for her money, he also needed a dedicated helpmate to help him get ahead and “keep him on an even keel”. Before reading this book, many probably would not realize how important that latter need happened to be. Because from the way President Johnson is described by Ms. Caroli, he apparently had one or more personality disorders, such as the histrionic one. No, she does not state that in the biography, but a few times does quote those, who knew Lyndon Johnson, who believe that he was bipolar or suffered from manic depression. Was he severely mentally ill? From reading this book alone, it would be hard to come up with a definite opinion of that, since the author obviously despises him. It would also be hard to form a definite opinion if Lady Bird Johnson was so totally free of self-pity and martyrdom, because the author appears to be no more objective about her than she was about the President. Personally, I like to believe that Mrs. Johnson was free of those things, because it goes against the stereotype of women of her generation, who stayed with husbands who cheated and were often verbally abusive. Lady Bird Johnson, without a doubt, was highly intelligent, highly knowledgeable about finances and many other issues, kind towards almost everyone, and was the epitome of graciousness. Not only did she have to deal with an extremely difficult husband, she also had to deal with a mass media that, at the time, considered it okay to be abusive towards First Ladies who did not “stay in their proper place”, did not live up to society’s view of physical beauty, and was often prejudice against those who spoke with southern accents. If there was ever a woman who was forever first a lady, it was Lady Bird Johnson. The only thing Betty Caroli seemed to find Lady Bird Johnson lacking in was mothering skills. From the evidence presented in this book, I think that was a bum rap. She actually seemed like a not so untypical mother of her time-- a mother who did not think her life should revolve around the lives of her children, but that their lives should revolve around her life and their father’s life. Many people of a certain age will certainly remember how family life use to be like that, and that was not a bad thing for children or parents. Also, both Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson did not seem like “baby” people, or possibly “little kid” people, but embraced parenting more when their daughters were older or even grown. That’s no sin. That’s just the way they were. Parents are people like everyone else, not saints. Although if LBJ was psychologically like he is described in this book, he probably wanted constant mothering from his wife; which put him in direct competition with his daughters; and possibly also wanted mothering from his daughters, once they got old enough to do so. While this was a most interesting biography to read, unfortunately at some point, weariness set in big time. The problem was that Lady Bird Johnson discovered very early on in her adult life how to handle everyone and everything in a successful way. (Sometimes that meant just totally ignoring what someone said, especially when her husband was ranting.) The problem wasn’t with Lady Bird’s life skills, mind you, but with the way those skills were repeatedly brought up in this very long book. Truly, it became downright wearisome having to read over and over and over again how Mrs. Johnson dealt with someone or something. It was the same story being told again and again and again, only in a different place or time. In addition, it was hard to stay focused on all of Lady Bird’s achievements; as well as the many outstanding achievements of the Johnson administration, where domestic policies were concerned; when one’s vision was constantly being obstructed by the family’s dirty laundry, hanging on the line, flapping in the breeze. By the time I reached the last line in the book, which clearly showed the author’s dislike for LBJ, I only wanted to get away from Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson, not read any additional books about them . . . and let them rest in peace. (Note: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan O

    Caroli has done a beautiful job of describing the lives of two very different, but very powerful people who needed each other. So often Lady Bird has been portrayed as a doormat, too spineless to stand up to Lyndon, but that is very far from the truth. Talk about a Steel Magnolia, or steel and velvet as one journalist put it. Lady Bird survived and thrived. Although the book was specifically about the marriage, I wish more emphasis had been put on Lady Bird's 34 years after Lyndon's death. It wa Caroli has done a beautiful job of describing the lives of two very different, but very powerful people who needed each other. So often Lady Bird has been portrayed as a doormat, too spineless to stand up to Lyndon, but that is very far from the truth. Talk about a Steel Magnolia, or steel and velvet as one journalist put it. Lady Bird survived and thrived. Although the book was specifically about the marriage, I wish more emphasis had been put on Lady Bird's 34 years after Lyndon's death. It was well written and a pleasure to read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Lady Bird Johnson and her husband Lyndon were formed by events of their youth. This work explores their character development as well as examining the reasons for many of their actions as adults including infidelity. A reveling look at a modern president and his First Lady.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Annie Booker

    An absolutely wonderfully written and entertaining biography about what appeared to be a very mis-matched but totally devoted couple. I just loved this book so much. If you can find it, grab it. I'll deefinitely be re-reading it in the future. An absolutely wonderfully written and entertaining biography about what appeared to be a very mis-matched but totally devoted couple. I just loved this book so much. If you can find it, grab it. I'll deefinitely be re-reading it in the future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    "Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President" authored by Betty Caroli is a stunning portrayal of the loyal devotion of Claudia Alta Taylor (1912-2007) to her husband Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) the 36th president of the United States. LBJ became the Commander In Chief following the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963. Often compared to Erie Halliburton, Lady Bird graduated from both St. Mary's College (1930) and the University of Texas (1933) earning multi "Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President" authored by Betty Caroli is a stunning portrayal of the loyal devotion of Claudia Alta Taylor (1912-2007) to her husband Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) the 36th president of the United States. LBJ became the Commander In Chief following the assassination of JFK on November 22, 1963. Often compared to Erie Halliburton, Lady Bird graduated from both St. Mary's College (1930) and the University of Texas (1933) earning multiple degrees. LBJ proposed marriage within days of meeting her. A sharp savvy businesswoman in her own right, she used money from her trust fund to buy a radio station KTBC and a television station in 1952. Lady Bird was the first presidential wife to become a millionaire by her own means, and would use her own money to finance LBJ's congressional campaigns. By the time LBJ campaigned with JFK for the US presidential ticket, Lady Bird would use their business connections and political influence to swing the votes in 7 southern states. Caroli writes about the fierce loyalty of Lady Bird for her husband, and would "bristle and become shrill" when questioned by reporters about LBJ's obvious interest in other women. Her belief that martial fidelity wasn't exactly necessary for a successful marriage, was likely traced to that of her own parents unhappy union. Both parents from an aristocratic wealthy southern backgrounds, her father TJ Taylor (1874-1960) a wealthy landowner and businessman was a commanding forceful person. Her mother Minnie Pattillo (1874-1918) mysteriously died of "septicemia" while pregnant, when little Claudia was 6 years old. All newspaper memorial articles have been removed, and nothing remains of Pattillo's existence. TJ was clearly a man who made and lived by his own rules, he remarried twice. Theodore Sorenson worked for both JFK and LBJ, and had some very interesting observations concerning the extra-marital relationships of both men. LBJ surrounded himself with beautiful female staffers and secretaries, and often flaunted his affairs, bringing his mistresses to visit the ranch where they were all graciously received and welcomed by Lady Bird. Some female staff refused to travel with LBJ. Secretly, her friends were dismayed at Lady Bird's inability to preserve and defend her dignity. Depending on domestic staff to care for her young daughters, Lady Bird was able to cater to LBJ's every demand and need, admitting freely she sought her identity through him. He would always come first, there were no exceptions. LBJ was known for his "War on Poverty", he signed the Medicare Act in 1965, the Fair Housing Bill also known as the Civil Rights Act in 1968. The protest of the Vietnam War caused much controversy, he made his famous declaration that he would not seek re-election. In retirement, LBJ was restless and obnoxious with his staff, as Lady Bird continued her constant dedication and support. LBJ's presidential library was established in 1971, after LBJ's death from heart failure, Lady Bird would outlive him by 34 years. Experiencing a renewed zest for life, she doted on her grandchildren, various special interests, and traveled abroad. Lady Bird was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977) and posthumously the Rachel Carson Award in 2013. Pages of great photos included. With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alice Hanson

    I am old enough to remember where I was the day Kennedy was shot. I am from Maine and as a teenager, the Maine 4H club sponsored a citizenship short course in 1968 where we got to take a bus to Washington DC and meet Margaret Chase Smith,R-ME, the only female senator, in her office, and saw the tents of Renaissance City spread across the mall, protesting the killing of Martin Luther King, in front of the Washington Monument. I remember the Robb wedding and vietnam protests, LBJ, LBJ, how many bo I am old enough to remember where I was the day Kennedy was shot. I am from Maine and as a teenager, the Maine 4H club sponsored a citizenship short course in 1968 where we got to take a bus to Washington DC and meet Margaret Chase Smith,R-ME, the only female senator, in her office, and saw the tents of Renaissance City spread across the mall, protesting the killing of Martin Luther King, in front of the Washington Monument. I remember the Robb wedding and vietnam protests, LBJ, LBJ, how many boys did you kill today? I also remember Lady Bird as a mousy shadow to Jackie and the charisma of the Boston Kennedys. Today, we live in another trying time, under Mr. Trump. Did you know LBJ was also narcissistic, a womanizer and probably mentally unstable/bi-polar? That Lady Bird propped him up on the bad days and stood out of his way on the manically productive days? Did you know that Lady Bird was very rich, a shrewd self made female executive in broadcasting when no women were top managers -(and possibly became rich because her husband sat on the FCC committee and kicked her favors) and back then, you didn't have to release taxes or financial information - conflict of interest wasn't the thing is it now. Being a New Englander, I was interested in how this book explained the nuances of southern politics and remember as a kid how Southerners were looked down upon by northern brethren. We made fun of the way Carter, and Clinton drawled, remember? The tables seem turned now - the south is a force in everyday politics. North and south seems to think different and the way Lady Bird assumed Texas politics, and southern hospitality worked to get things done was illuminating. LadyBird lived in a prewomen's lib time--but she was a steel magnolia. It was somehow reassuring to me that we survived having a manic, insecure, narcissistic unbalanced president in the the white house in an era of hate and prejudice, and yet we survived. I have had massive anxiety since January 21, and somehow this book was reassuring. We have been through worse before, and we survived. There was hope in 1968 that government programs could cure social illls - we are only now unraveling that big government isn't the answer and relying on yet another narcissistic womanizing president to craft a new stucture to make America Great Again.... Back then, there was hope we could fix things, and now there is fear and cynicism, but back then there so many taboos that we don't have now and for better or worse, there is technology instead of stuffy rules, suits and protocol. Consistent to both eras is that We still love money and power...So it helped me sleep at night to read this book and realize that there is a south, and there is a north and there are belligerent SOBs in power, and then there are the Lady Birds, steel magnolias, who can work the halls of power in the background to make things work. It was a good book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    One of the most fascinating presidents was Lyndon Baines Johnson. Bill Moyers called him "thirteen of the most exasperating men I ever met." He was charming and he was abusive; a womanizer who loved his wife; he believed in equality, education, and giving the poor a chance; if you got on his bad side he'd snub you for ever. The best thing he ever did in his life was to marry Lady Bird. She could soothe the savage beast. She knew how to deal with his depressions. She mended fences and kept politi One of the most fascinating presidents was Lyndon Baines Johnson. Bill Moyers called him "thirteen of the most exasperating men I ever met." He was charming and he was abusive; a womanizer who loved his wife; he believed in equality, education, and giving the poor a chance; if you got on his bad side he'd snub you for ever. The best thing he ever did in his life was to marry Lady Bird. She could soothe the savage beast. She knew how to deal with his depressions. She mended fences and kept political alliances intact. She managed their business and made them wealthy. First Lady scholar Betty Caroli's book Lady Bird and Lyndon is a deep exploration of the relationship between Lyndon and Lady Bird. The contention is that without Bird behind him Lyndon may never have been able to achieve his goals. Some biographers have deplored Lyndon's treatment of Lady Bird and wondered why she never stood up to Lyndon. Caroli puts their relationship in perspective and helps us to understand Lady Bird's motivations and appreciate her inner strength and surety of her husband's love. Early on in the book I realized that Lyndon's mood swings sounded Bi-Polar in origin. I had not encountered that understanding before. During his presidency LBJ had major triumphs but also faced criticism and hatred that left him immobilized and dejected. Ever the workaholic, his health suffered, and knowing his time was swiftly running out LBJ spiraled into an angry depression. The book covers the Johnson's families history and background, explaining their personality traits that made them 'right' for each other. Lady Bird was bright and ambitious, expected by her classmates to be the 'next Halliburtan.' When LBJ met Bird he immediately started the pressure for marriage. They had known each other a month when she agreed to marry him. They both knew Bird was the stronger, and she was going to rescue him with her love. Theirs was a complex relationship, lived in the public eye. It makes for addictive reading. I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Before I read this book I was a fan of LBJ. However, reading this book made me think that he was a less than perfect or even good person, in fact the saying that "great leaders are often horrible people" came to mind. I was appalled at his behavior at times and felt for Lady Bird. This is my first book about their relationship - and while you could tell that there was love between the two, it would not be a relationship for me. Lady Bird's childhood wasn't picture perfect. Her mother died when sh Before I read this book I was a fan of LBJ. However, reading this book made me think that he was a less than perfect or even good person, in fact the saying that "great leaders are often horrible people" came to mind. I was appalled at his behavior at times and felt for Lady Bird. This is my first book about their relationship - and while you could tell that there was love between the two, it would not be a relationship for me. Lady Bird's childhood wasn't picture perfect. Her mother died when she was young, wasn't close with her brothers and her father wasn't the doting father. She often found solace in nature, where she could go and escape. Education was valued in her family and she double majored in History and Journalism, as well as education classes so she could teach if need be during her time at the University of Texas. The couple meet through a mutual friend. Bird's two college degrees impressed Lyndon, especially the journalism degree, he knew would impress his mother. Lyndon's work at the nation's capital made him stand out from the other young men Bird was known to socialize with. Their first date was breakfast where they ended up spending the whole day together. Lyndon asked Bird to marry him at the end of the day, she did not accept until later. While they were dating Bird experienced how Lyndon liked his ladies to look, he told her to avoid mule colors, stick to straight skirts and to wear heels to make her look taller. He also would nag Bird to keep the weight off, to not exceed her figure when they first met. All of Bird's friends and family urged her to wait - not to rush into marriage with Lyndon. They snuck away to get married, resulting in a ragtag, impromptu affair arranged by people Bird didn't know and toasted with illegal booze. They informed their family and friends the day after the marriage. Their marriage is a mystifying union for outsiders to understand. It wasn't until their letters were released to the public back in 2013 that people saw what brought them together - they both saw what one could do for the other quite clearly, their letters stated as much. The letters showed that Lyndon would fulfill Bird's ambition of being man as charismatic and comfortable with power like her father was. Bird wanted a man with a take charge attitude and for being the focus of attention. Bird would provide Lyndon with devotion equal to his mother and the emotional support he needed. She once said that LBJ was her lover, friend and identity. Lady Bird was especially useful to her husband by covering up his gaffes, smoothed the feathers he ruffled with his opponents and allies. One could argue that Bird was his greatest strength. During World War II, LBJ signed up for active duty for the Navy, Bird ended up running his congressional office while he was away. She was diligent, precise and kept a record of every expense down to the last penny. She performed the job so flawlessly that some of his voters didn't even know that he was gone, some even suggested that she should have her own seat. Once LBJ got back from his time in service he quickly ended her work in the office. This would become a pattern in their relationship, LBJ would push Bird to excel, when she delivered he would quickly take it away. LBJ was not completely ignorant of how helpful Bird was to him and his political career. He was aware that she was a valuable asset who served as a sounding board, financial manager, network builder and resolver of family problems. She was the only one who could talk him out of his depressed funks, which were often. The Johnson's had trouble conceiving a child. Bird was aware of how badly LBJ wanted a son, she checked herself into a hospital to increase her chances of becoming pregnant. After ten years of marriage Bird finally became pregnant. LBJ was not present for his long waited child's birth. He gathered up some male friends and drove around Washington while Bird was in labor. He took the whole gang to meet his daughter for the first time. Both parents were not overly involved in their daughters' childhoods. One secretary observed that the girls grew up almost as orphans in a sense. Johnson was a big flirt, he even informed Bird that he was seeing someone else while they were dating. It was a trait that he never hid from his wife. LBJ's extramarital affairs were something Bird was aware of but did not draw attention to. She grew up watching her father have affairs, it was not new to her. It was no secret to the other wives of Washington that LBJ was being seen around town with other women. Extramarital affairs were commonplace in Washington. The women whose names were linked to LBJ were in the couple's social circle, she saw them everyday, snubbing them or treating them in anyway would have backfired on Bird. There was very little Bird felt that she could do. If she expressed hurt or jealousy she would make enemies for her husband. She treated LBJ's womanizing and affairs as if they didn't exist. LBJ took his cue from her, that she didn't care. Bird would often incorporate the other women in their everyday life. When the chance came to become Vice President on the ticket with John F. Kennedy, Lady Bird initially urged her husband to turn down the offer. She found it humiliating, that he would be subordinate to a younger man who was less able than himself. During his time as VP he struggled in JFK's shadow, whereas Lady Bird emerged as a strong political spouse, complimenting a ticket and an administration as none of her predecessors have. He fulfilled JFK's last year as president and ran for President the following year. During LBJ's inauguration the country was in for a surprise. Lady Bird was the first political spouse to hold the bible for her husband. Johnson wanted Bird by his side for that moment. The Johnson's started a new tradition that day, even spouses of mayors and governors would have their wives hold the bible as they took the oath of office. The biggest thorn in LBJ's side during his presidency was the Vietnam War. The war would mess with his mental state, throwing him into depressive stages. Bird as usual would monitor her husband's diet and exercise, surrounded him with people he enjoyed and she would mend fences and sooth the feelings of those that LBJ has offended. She had a tough juggling act during his years of being president - preserving her own sanity and helping her husband grew more difficult especially when the anti war rallies started. Johnson only served one term as President. Bird was for him not running again, she wanted him to retire. The Vietnam war wore him down and helped change his mind towards retirement. Bird was not at home when LBJ passed. She knew one of these times when she was away that she would miss a health scare and she was right. By the time she made it to the hospital he was already gone. Bird lived 34 years after her husband. *as a huge Harry Potter fan I appreaciated the author adding in that she listened to HP on Audio books

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zach Anderson

    I had scant knowledge of Lady Bird before starting this book. My experience with Lyndon has also been limited. Starting this book served as a turning point in my presidential reading: it is the first book I've read exclusively about one particular president. My attention span usually can't sustain a single subject over the course of several hundred pages, but I decided to push myself through this narrative. I had wanted to expand my knowledge on the Johnson's and this seemed the place to start. I had scant knowledge of Lady Bird before starting this book. My experience with Lyndon has also been limited. Starting this book served as a turning point in my presidential reading: it is the first book I've read exclusively about one particular president. My attention span usually can't sustain a single subject over the course of several hundred pages, but I decided to push myself through this narrative. I had wanted to expand my knowledge on the Johnson's and this seemed the place to start. If you know nothing about Lyndon it is apparent you know he was boorish and demanding. He spoke down to others, notwithstanding his wife Lady Bird. He flirted with young White House aides, sometimes within earshot of the first lady. Despite his shortcomings, Lady Bird Remained faithful. Caroli's book paints Lady Bird as the unwavering cornerstone in the Johnson marriage; by the end of the book the reader is forced to conclude that without his wife, Lyndon would have never achieved the highest office in the land. We can't doubt the influence a first lady has over her husband. We also can't underestimate the ends Lyndon would have gone to secure the presidency. One could argue any soft spoken woman at his side could have made the same amends Lady Bird made. Caroli's portrait serves as borderline journey into that awkward territory of "this is the greatest person ever." And while it was interesting to uncover a significant part of Johnson history I didn't previously know, I'm not convinced Lady Bird was the x factor in the Johnson dynamic in the White House. - Z

  15. 4 out of 5

    Craig Werner

    Lady Bird's an important part of LBJ's story and this book acknowledges that. Beyond the fact that it draws on some previously unavailable correspondence, though, it doesn't add much to what's already pretty well known. And the style verges on coy far too often. Caroli's obviously a fan of her protagonist--so is anyone who's spent much time with the story--but that leads her to back off from any sort of realistic assessment of the problematic moments, such as those surrounding the acquisition of Lady Bird's an important part of LBJ's story and this book acknowledges that. Beyond the fact that it draws on some previously unavailable correspondence, though, it doesn't add much to what's already pretty well known. And the style verges on coy far too often. Caroli's obviously a fan of her protagonist--so is anyone who's spent much time with the story--but that leads her to back off from any sort of realistic assessment of the problematic moments, such as those surrounding the acquisition of the media outlets that were fundamental to the Johnsons' fortune.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    An interesting biography of a marriage partnership that led a politician to become President of the United States. I think it was occasionally repetitious and could have been constructed better as sometimes the author seemed to skip around in the story. I learned a lot, though, about the time period and the politics of the era. I'll be interested in our book club discussion. An interesting biography of a marriage partnership that led a politician to become President of the United States. I think it was occasionally repetitious and could have been constructed better as sometimes the author seemed to skip around in the story. I learned a lot, though, about the time period and the politics of the era. I'll be interested in our book club discussion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vita

    Great book! Very interesting!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hauer

    Well researched, well written, and a most interesting angle to write from.

  19. 5 out of 5

    May Ling

    Summary: This book inspired me to read all available books on first ladies. LBJ, for all intents and purposes was bi-polar. Lady Bird kept him on the straight. P. 23 She was a master of letting it go. This chapter talks about the fact that even as a little girl, she would look for the good and literally refuse to acknowledge the more negative traits (her father and later LBJ) P39, LBJ learned statemenship from his second father. “When you’re talking, you’re not learning anything.” It then goes on Summary: This book inspired me to read all available books on first ladies. LBJ, for all intents and purposes was bi-polar. Lady Bird kept him on the straight. P. 23 She was a master of letting it go. This chapter talks about the fact that even as a little girl, she would look for the good and literally refuse to acknowledge the more negative traits (her father and later LBJ) P39, LBJ learned statemenship from his second father. “When you’re talking, you’re not learning anything.” It then goes on to the manner of listening, which was whole body and engaged. P. 40, still regarding LBJ’s lessons from his 2nd father: “If you walked into a room and couldn’t figure out what everyman was thinking, you don’t deserve to be in politics.” It goes on to talk about the idea that every man has a price. P. 51, I’m reminded of the show the politician. Regarding Lady bird, “So she had to find the right man, one who took her breath away and was going places, but one who would also let her deploy her ambition. p. 68, Although the entire book talks about the idea that this was a torrid love affair despite all the cheating, this part talks about the idea that LBJ had practical reasons related to his ambition. He knew he was a “go-getter with rough edges.” He liked Lady Bird’s pedigree, education, and natural social grace. P. 69, it talks about vulnerability, but it sounds like he was super controlling. P. 84, Ladybird married LBJ at 22. She’s described as a mood stabilizer, but basically, sounds like she was totally aware of his manic depressiveness. P. 131, she was not into the sensationalization of her husband and had a say (possibly b/c she was funding him) to veto press releases that were too full of it. P. 133, sounds like there was some concerns that Ladybird did use the White House for her dad’s personal gain, although later, it shows her showing full accounting of all their business dealings in a press release. It also says, that the press didn’t look through it. … hmmmm… p. 190, It refers to the idea that Lady bird, like Dolly Madison refused to admit the existence of enemies. There is later reference to the idea that LBJ had a mistress and she refused to acknowledge it to anyone because it would provide bad press for her hubby and weaken him. I mean… wow….what do you even call that? Emotional control? Calculation? Wow. P. 233, it talks about how 93 days after the JFK assassination, Lady Bird had already defined herself as a different sort of first lady. “Rather than act the fashion icon or very private helpmate, Bird intended to show how a spouse can be a full collaborator. She would privately critique Lyndon’s speeches and press conferences, publically help him court legislators and the press, and act as his sounding board.” p. 269, Bill Moyers was a psychologist that worked with the president every day. “Although the term “manic-depressive” was thrown around a lot at the time, having been included in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1952, Moyers did not use it. P.308, recants an incident in which the President when asked by the press core about why he keeps escalating tensions whips out his “substantial organ” and shouts “This is why!” I wonder what he would have been like if twitter was around. P. 324, although Ladybird officially supported her hubby on the Vietnam War, this page recants gentle questions that Ladybird would pose that suggested she did not agree.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Basto

    I enjoyed this book and learned a great deal about the lives and loves of Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson. Lady Bird is one of my heroes and the author really gave a well-rounded view of her childhood---her mother dying young and raised by a father known as "Mr. Boss" who ruled the small town she grew up in, Karnack, Texas. Bird was a daddy's girl and learned a lot of financial tricks from him. After she met Lyndon, and they had a whirlwind romance of a few weeks before they were married, Bird lent I enjoyed this book and learned a great deal about the lives and loves of Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson. Lady Bird is one of my heroes and the author really gave a well-rounded view of her childhood---her mother dying young and raised by a father known as "Mr. Boss" who ruled the small town she grew up in, Karnack, Texas. Bird was a daddy's girl and learned a lot of financial tricks from him. After she met Lyndon, and they had a whirlwind romance of a few weeks before they were married, Bird lent him money for his Congressional campaign. After she inherited some money, she researched and then bought a radio station. Then another. Against the suggestions of her husband, she then bought a television station. Her 25 thousand dollar investment turned into a multi-million dollar earner. Even today, due to Lady Bird's fine investments and frugality, the Johnston Trust is worth over 100 million, thanks to Bird. She was a penny pinching visionary, far ahead of her time. Lyndon, who had a hard-scrabble life clearly was bi-polar, his moods abruptly switching from euphoria to deep depressions. He was known as "Uncle Cornpone" by the Kennedys and he was even more of a womanizer than his predecessor, JFK. His quote, "I can get any woman by chance where Kennedy needs to pursue them" is quite evident from the book. The difference between the two men was that Kennedy was discreet with his affairs whereas LBJ flaunted them in the face of Bird. But Bird, like Rose Kennedy and Jackie, was able to split that part of herself and compartmentalize her emotions regarding Lyndon's outlandish behaviors. She was his rock, his everything. If it wasn't for Bird, there never would have been LBJ, as we know him. And as a nature lover, I loved the fact that Bird worked hard to beautify the highways and the landscape with wildflowers, trees and bushes. Nature was her solace and always was a place she would go to during her long, varied life. The reason I gave this book four stars is the author at the beginning of each chapter seems to skip ahead, only to return back to the chronicle. I especially noticed this on the chapter of JFK's assassination. She completely skipped over the emotions that the LBJs must have felt when they found out Kennedy was shot; instead we are with the Johnsons in the White House. This really interrupted the flow at times. Other than this criticism, I enjoyed the book and learned a great deal about a powerful couple who would let nothing stop them!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Betty Smith

    Caroli understands her subjects well. The reader will see why Lady Bird was swept off her feet by LBJ in 1934, and not necessarily in the romantic sense. As a young UT Austin college student Lady Bird was having a first look at life beyond the dreary confines of her rural Texas childhood. She quickly formulates a strategy to not waste her life in anything less than what her bright mind and ambitions promise her: a shot at life in the corridors of power in the highest political realms of the coun Caroli understands her subjects well. The reader will see why Lady Bird was swept off her feet by LBJ in 1934, and not necessarily in the romantic sense. As a young UT Austin college student Lady Bird was having a first look at life beyond the dreary confines of her rural Texas childhood. She quickly formulates a strategy to not waste her life in anything less than what her bright mind and ambitions promise her: a shot at life in the corridors of power in the highest political realms of the country, and, in 1934, she knows she cannot reach it as a single woman no matter how advanced her education. She rejects any suitor that does not set high professional goals for himself. While she ponders the magnetic Lyndon in their whirlwind 3-week courtship, mostly conducted in absence via ardent letter-writing, she runs upon an astonishing truth: Lyndon is reduced to tears and debilitating depression at even the mildest rebuke of hers or a suggestion that she might leave him. She has even gotten wind of another woman he is seeing and he lays his soul bare to Lady Bird, saying he cannot live without Lady Bird. As she gambles her future in accepting this volatile man, she forges on as a political wife in a most certain knowledge of her own great value to Lyndon. The public wonders in the years to come why she endures with no visible bitterness his infidelities, disrespectful verbal treatment and childish behavior. She has made a life which has brought her the fulfillment that her young idealism directed her toward, and she has not looked back.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joan Padgitt

    I recently visited Austin and the LBJ Library and Museum and it peaked my interest in this President and First Lady. I actually listened to the 2015 CD Book which was beautifully narrated by Amanda Carlin. Lady Bird was the first presidential wife to hold the bible for a presidential inauguration which set the precedent for all wives thereafter. Although LBJ was an unpopular president (Vietnam War), his administration passed a lot of ground breaking legislation in Civil Rights, education (Higher I recently visited Austin and the LBJ Library and Museum and it peaked my interest in this President and First Lady. I actually listened to the 2015 CD Book which was beautifully narrated by Amanda Carlin. Lady Bird was the first presidential wife to hold the bible for a presidential inauguration which set the precedent for all wives thereafter. Although LBJ was an unpopular president (Vietnam War), his administration passed a lot of ground breaking legislation in Civil Rights, education (Higher Education Act of 1965 and Head Start), environment (Clean Air Act) and healthcare (Medicare and Medicaid). A very interesting book. I'm currently reading Michelle Obama's book "Becoming". What I'm realizing is that sometimes you can learn more about a president by looking at the wife he chose! I plan to next read "The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the making of an American dynasty", by Susan Page, author.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joseph J.

    I grew up in the tumultuous Johnson years, and I recall the awful night on November 22nd. aas I watched Jacqueline Kennedy arrive back in D.C. and depart with JFK's body. The new President addressed the nation as the jet droned in the background, and my mother observing the new First lady tried to recall her name: "Something about a bird." Over the next few years we all got to know Lady Bird and the Johnson family, through royal White House weddings and Vietnam and increasingly divisive politics I grew up in the tumultuous Johnson years, and I recall the awful night on November 22nd. aas I watched Jacqueline Kennedy arrive back in D.C. and depart with JFK's body. The new President addressed the nation as the jet droned in the background, and my mother observing the new First lady tried to recall her name: "Something about a bird." Over the next few years we all got to know Lady Bird and the Johnson family, through royal White House weddings and Vietnam and increasingly divisive politics. Lady Bird always remained a lady, and the always reliable Betty Caroli traces her years, from a gothic Southern childhood to the too often taken for granted but always invaluable partner to LBJ. It's good to see her recalled and remembered again in these absorbing pages.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Ross

    I was way too young to know anything about Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson when they were in the White House and much of the scant knowledge I had of Lyndon Johnson - which left me with a negative impression of him both as a person and as someone in a leadership position - before reading this book has been acquired through my extensive study of the long history of war, beginning with the French in the 1950's, in Vietnam. This book is a real eye-opener into both Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson I was way too young to know anything about Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson when they were in the White House and much of the scant knowledge I had of Lyndon Johnson - which left me with a negative impression of him both as a person and as someone in a leadership position - before reading this book has been acquired through my extensive study of the long history of war, beginning with the French in the 1950's, in Vietnam. This book is a real eye-opener into both Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson as people, as life partners, and as politicians. There is no way you can do anything but continually shake your head at the incomprehensible, in many ways, life and choices these two people carved out and made in their time on this earth. As I began the book and Lyndon Johnson from his earliest life onward was unveiled, I kept thinking "this is textbook bipolar behavior." He had the highest highs and the lowest lows, often going from one to another on the turn of a dime, throughout his life. In Lyndon's White House years, the addition of extreme paranoia, which would follow him the rest of his life, emerged. Lyndon's mood swings were legendary and extreme. When he was in a manic phase, Lyndon was unstoppable in getting things done (but he was also at his peak in his philandering and cheating on his wife - who knew about it, accepted it, and often included his long line of mistresses in their inner circle, ensuring that Lyndon was surrounded by them when he skidded into the lows). When he was in a depressed phase, Lyndon fell apart. He raged at everyone around him, including his wife. He drank heavily. And he spent most of his time in bed. Lady Bird was Lyndon's enabler and rescuer. She put his needs before anyone else's, including their children's, at all times. Both daughters were virtually ignored by both their parents during their formative years and both daughters resented it deeply (these breaches were somewhat mended after the Johnson's left the White House, and, even more, by Lady Bird after Lyndon's death, but I suspect they were never fully repaired). Lyndon Johnson was fully responsible for American troops being sent as boots on the ground - and instituting the military draft that became one of the flash points for the massive student protests that began in the late 1960's - into Vietnam. Until his presidency, the U.S. military and intelligence services had a fairly small contingent of advisors in South Vietnam to come up with new technology (much of this is detailed in a book I highly recommend: "The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government" by David Talbot) to assist South Vietnam in their war against North Vietnam, which was Communist. This was during the Cold War era, so America (mainly through the CIA, but often, in conjunction with the Pentagon and military) was constantly and stealthily involving itself throughout the world wherever the threat of Communism seemed great and imminent. Lyndon Johnson made the fateful decision to bring the government's involvement with South Vietnam out into the open and then commit the U.S. military to fighting a ground war in the country. Lyndon was in a manic phase when he made this decision. As his mental illness intensified during his presidency, many of the bad and unpopular decisions that Lyndon made were during his manic phases. The manic phases quickly dissipated into severe depressive phases, where Lyndon spent the hours he was supposed in the Oval Office working, in bed or on a couch, with his head under the covers sleeping. It was a chaotic White House, with aides and staff - and Lady Bird - trying to mitigate and smooth over the damage that Lyndon's mania left in its wake. It was during a particularly paranoid and depressive episode that the decision was made, not by Lyndon, but by Lady Bird, that Lyndon would not run for a second term as president. After leaving the White House, Lyndon further descended into paranoia and his bipolar behavior worsened, as did his drinking and other destructive behaviors. Photos of his last couple of years of life show a broken man in every sense of the word. Lady Bird outlived her husband by 34 years and did her best, as she did while he was alive, to clean up Lyndon's legacy and keep the worst of his behavior and character under wraps. One of the questions this book raises (and tries to answer, unsuccessfully, in my view) is why Lady Bird put up with Lyndon, covering for him, making excuses for him, enabling him, and spending an inordinate amount of time pulling him up out the deep recesses of depression over and over again. The book's answer is Lady Bird did it because Lyndon's behavior was like the behavior of Lady Bird's father and she believed that was okay and normal. That seems entirely implausible to me, because there were too many other people - the majority, in fact - in Lyndon's and Lady Bird's life who didn't exhibit this kind of behavior, nor would accept it under any circumstances. So the real reason - and motivation, because Lady Bird was an intelligent and knowledgeable lady - is, for now, unknown and unknowable. This is just one of the mysteries of Lyndon and Lady Bird's life together that you'll find yourself grappling with as you read this book, but it is worth reading for this history it reveals and for the full-blown display of paranoid and bipolar illness that is described in great detail and which, uncontrolled and unleashed, affected the United States in ways that still haunt the country even today.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    Biography of marriage of 36th U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, doesn't gloss over the president's in- and out-of-office, beyond-Trumpian behavior but shows how his wife was a constant calming, leveling, even prescient presence, even while she was being verbally abused. The book doesn't offer treatises on his Senate bills, the Vietnam War or Great Society legislation but mines the depths of the couple's un-2017-like marital relationship. Biography of marriage of 36th U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, doesn't gloss over the president's in- and out-of-office, beyond-Trumpian behavior but shows how his wife was a constant calming, leveling, even prescient presence, even while she was being verbally abused. The book doesn't offer treatises on his Senate bills, the Vietnam War or Great Society legislation but mines the depths of the couple's un-2017-like marital relationship.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen Hohmeyer

    I have read 0 things before this about the Johnson presidency, so all my knowledge is cursory history class. This book is eye opening on many levels other than history, but also makes me think about how many historical figures have gone through the White House whose impacts have been ignored because they were women or "just the first lady." Very interesting read about the evolution of the role and an exceptionally strong woman. I have read 0 things before this about the Johnson presidency, so all my knowledge is cursory history class. This book is eye opening on many levels other than history, but also makes me think about how many historical figures have gone through the White House whose impacts have been ignored because they were women or "just the first lady." Very interesting read about the evolution of the role and an exceptionally strong woman.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Warner

    I enjoyed this book about the marriage of LBJ and Lady Bird. I wanted to know more about this First Lady and feel like I got to know her in these pages. Betty Boyd Caroli did a wonderful job of portraying both LBJ and Lady Bird as real people, with both admirable and less attractive qualities. I would like to read Ms. Caroli’s other books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Hobgood

    I had read this book out of curiosity. I enjoyed reading this book because I learned more about Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson. I love how the information was written. I thought the book was well written. It is a must read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beall

    Enlightening story on the Johnsons marriage and presidency. Never realizedthat LBJ had bipolar depression disorder. Lady Bird Johnson was an amazing woman. She is the woman behind LBJ's political success. Enlightening story on the Johnsons marriage and presidency. Never realizedthat LBJ had bipolar depression disorder. Lady Bird Johnson was an amazing woman. She is the woman behind LBJ's political success.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ramona Fontenot

    Never knew. Glad I read the book. My respect for her increased more and more as I read the book. My respect for him decreased more and more as I read the book. Maybe that was the author's intent. Never knew. Glad I read the book. My respect for her increased more and more as I read the book. My respect for him decreased more and more as I read the book. Maybe that was the author's intent.

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