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tv   QA Joshua Zeitz  CSPAN  March 4, 2018 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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british prime minister theresa may taking questions from the house of commons. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ announcer: this week on "q&a," joshua zeitz discusses his book, "bring -- "building the great society." zeitz, your new book, "building the great society." i want to show you on this network in 2014, talking about a previous book about two of lincoln's staff members. >> they undertook a mission to
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create an and during historical reputation for their leader. the culmination of these efforts , a 10 volume biography which was serialized between 1886 and ,890 in the century magazine america's leading mass circulation magazine. that constituted one of the singularly successful exercises in historical revisionism in all of american history. it -- explain what you learned about staff. i wrote a book about john hey and john nicolai. the term secretary was a catch all for chief of staff, political director, the white house staff was miniscule in those days. they knew him from the springfield days. they were very young men and
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they lived in worked in the white house. they were party to everything we know about lincoln during the civil war years. they became his biographers, or his first biographers. writing that book intrigued me because it became clear there is this component of residential history, which is the history of the men and women who staffed these administration's, which is termstical, not only in of such visions they make while they are in the white house, but the access with historical retrospection and place in context the events they witnessed. brian: what did you think of the history they wrote? joshua: the 10 volumes don't pass muster given the secondary literature we have on the civil war. they played a vital role in placing saber -- slavery at the center of the conflict of the civil war, which today seems intuitive.
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they were writing this decades after lincoln had been assassinated, when the country was going through a romantic reunion. it became popular and prevalent for historians and commentators to view the war as having been over states rights or other constitutional issues, but not slavery. they did something critically important. they put the context over slavery's expansion at the center of the narrative. in that way they created the standard historical account that everybody would argue against afterwards. when we are talking about presidents, they are the one to created a prototype that lasted until this day, the way we think of lincoln of having been a among of -- a first equals in washington, a master politician, the head of a team of rivals.
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against and with each other in order to achieve his ends. that was their interpretation. that lasted pretty long. were those two men when they were staffed for abraham lincoln? joshua: hey was in his 20's. they had no prior experience. men who grew up in illinois. had ever beenhay to washington, d.c. there were a lot of people who wanted that job, probably had a better claim to it, who are jealous of them. they realize they were fish out of water when they came to the scene. that's a common story over the decades. brian: in your bibliography, i count at least nine books written by staff of lending johnson -- lyndon johnson. what did you think of their history? to quote a lot from those books.
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how do you follow up to make sure they were telling the truth? joshua: you treat a memoir, whether it is a staff memoir or a journalist, with a critical eye. the stories they tell can be very helpful to consult if they have been corroborated by other sources. even if you suspect these stories are apocryphal or if they are self-serving, because oftentimes they are, they help to provide insight into the relationship between that staff member and the president he or she worked for. like any other primary source, you have to approach it critically. mind whatto bear in they had exchanged while they were writing lincoln's memoir. they consciously decided not to use all the oral histories that
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nicolai took of people around lincoln from his springfield days to the white house. they decided not to re-interview people. they found as people get older, their memories went, and/or they had a particular grudge in their interview. johnson is an interesting case in point. there is a rich trove of oral histories taken in the late 60's all the way through the late 80's. i did use them. hayd not follow nicolay and to the letter. when peoplee ones were being candid because they had security in knowing these would not be released for another quarter-century. they did not necessarily have to position things just so. at all times, if i could corroborate the facts and the sentiment by consulting contemporary sources, memos they
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wrote to each other in the moment, i would always privilege that is because they were clearly not written with an eye toward history. brian: did you interview anybody who worked for lyndon b. johnson? joshua: i did not. there are only two senior staff members who are still alive. auto who wentlis on to become secretary of health and welfare for president carter and had a successful law practice in new york. i reached out, with and never heard back. i let him know i was writing the book and he was pleased to hear it, but i did not interview him. through tens of thousands of their contemporary memos in the early 60's. i looked through scores of
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.ewspapers i was able to consult oral histories. brian: here is a photo that watson. moyers and who are the people standing with lyndon johnson? joshua: most people know who bill moyers is. moyers was a young minister, grew up in texas, a lot of the guys who worked for johnson were from texas. he ended up being -- he did not take a pulpit. he was a brilliant student. a very earnest the lotion. -- theologian. he ended up working for johnson at the television station and later on his senate staff. he worked his way up. brian: what i checked plenty? -- what about jack?
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joshua: he was a young pr guy johnson knew. he ended up marrying one of johnson's secretaries. the reason he was there is just happenstance. lbj invited him from houston to dallas. he happened to be five cars back in the motorcade, 10 cars back when the president was assassinated. johnson put him on air force one immediately. you look at the iconic photo taken of the swearing in on board air force one, you see him crushed in the back against the wall of the airliner. he would later say he had no idea why he was there, but he ended up becoming a close aide. brian: who entreat you the most? joshua: i found harry mcpherson to be the most intriguing one. he was a young lawyer, also a
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texan. -- he a young lawyer who wrote a letter to lbj when lbj was a senator. that spun into his coming to washington to work on senate policy committee staff when johnson was majority leader. he actually got out from under johnson's some, because johnson anda hard guy to work for, he had positions at the department of state. johnson brought him into the white house in 1965 as chief counsel. he ended up serving a whole number of functions. most of johnson's guys were utility players. whoas one of the few people was not particularly afraid of lbj. he enjoyed his work and was committed to it, but it would have been no tragedy if he had to leave. he was not a person to maneuver for power and position.
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he had a certain native intelligence and it comes a meter. looked tof the staff him as an honest broker. >> we will come back to the photo. here you write about this in your book, this was a contentious person. arthur's lazing are, a historian for john f. kennedy, he was here near 2000. he is now deceased. >> the 60's would have been very different had he lived. i do not think he would have americanized the war in vietnam. he would have found some way of withdrawing. most of the legislative program brought toohnson -- completion, the great society.
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had its origins in the kennedy new frontier. i think it would've been a very different country. joshua: that doesn't surprise me. he was contentious in the extreme. somebody said -- one of his colleagues said he basically declared war on johnson the minute they put kennedy in the ground. he never was willing to credit johnson for his establishments. -- compliments. he took the continuity and described all the negative to lbj. there is a moment to talk about in the book when valenti, who was already out of the white house, is at a dinner party. slesinger is trashing the war policy. moyers was still in the white house. the lengthy says, what are you talking about? kennedy-johnson
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administration very seriously doubted the way it was going in vietnam. johnson's administration was heavily populated by kennedy holders. it's -- holdovers. lesinger, the kennedy family's court historian, was never able to record johnson's place in history, which is not to minimize what a difficult man johnson was. brian: we have talked about lyndon johnson a lot on this network. how did you go about writing a book that was different than getting?ot to put duplicating? joshua: i can't wait for the next volume of his book. they are foundational. he is a biographer, and although i deal with elite actors, i
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don't view this as a biography, per se. it's really a history of political ideas, history of the way government administrated certain programs. it is a book about johnson, but it is not really a book about johnson. it is really a book about his staff. i wanted to take the focus off the story, which is, lyndon as the great master legislator, and look at exactly how an administration within the space of four and half years built all these programs. after they pass congress and he signed them into law, how did they build medicare and medicaid from the ground up in one year? how did they create programs like head start? who stands, and nutritional programs for children. -- food stamps and nutritional
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programs for children, while desegregating the country it -- and dissembling about the war in vietnam. staff, the ideas that drove the great society and the way they executed. you can read this book and expect to read the next cairo wille, and i imagine you -- hopefully, this book will help people praise the -- place the great society in greater context. brian: richard goodwin is still alive. joshua: yes, he had a number of roles under john kennedy. best remembered as a young congressional staff attorney tv television0
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game show scandal hearings. he came into the johnson and ministry should -- administration as a speechwriter. he is known for having coined the term "the great society." he wrote most of the text johnson delivered at the university of michigan when he launched great society. a 30--- kennedy-ite. mccarthy, the hapless presidential candidate, had to bring in goodwin in new hampshire in january of 1968. brian: this is not substantive. this is richard goodwin making a speech about lyndon johnson, but you weave this through the book. >> the presidential -- i heard a
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voice saying, come here. i looked around. the voice is undoubtedly coming from the bathroom. [laughter] i walked into the bathroom, and seated on the toilet -- [laughter] was the president of the united states. he had george bundy and their. with his back to the president. he walked out of the room afterwards with his back to him. said, you wonder how a man like that ever got -- part of the world. brian: how much of this if you find? annette to make you believe it was a common happenstance. johnson required 24/7 devotion from his staff.
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moyers had an also for a good year during his tenure there. he had special direct telephone lines installed in are homes to get a hold of them anytime of day. they had access to the presidential cars, which sounds like great perk, but the president would call the signal and get the car turned around. he could tell the story of when he first was given the assignment to write the great society speech, moyers came to the white house and the two of them went to these women pool, which was then indoor, where the press office is now. johnson was swimming in the pool naked, and told reuters in goodwin to join them -- moyers and goodwin.
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this is just what you had to do. if you could tolerate it, you tolerated it. if you couldn't, you did not work for lyndon johnson. on page 42, you tell a of, try not togs read too many of these words, you say lbj, "what that woman needs is you. take her out, give her a good f---." and a good joshua: that's lyndon johnson trying to make his aides uncomfortable and realize who was in charge. he engaged in these brash theatrics in order to put people against the wall, to make them feel uneasy and unstable. there is no way -- well.
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donald trump has lasted just fine. lyndon it is fair to say johnson's personal behavior would push the limits today. brian: here's more. harry has been taking out this bitch reporter. i worry about his wife and children. was that true? joshua: not. johnson told mcpherson this particular reporter had been writing critically of the menstruation, i want you to take her out -- of the administration, i want you to take her out. this.esident would drop hoped the president would drop this. what is interesting about mcpherson is -- >> one more.
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this is about congresswoman edith green. he said to have him take her out, give her a couple of bloody mary's, and she will support any bill he wants. if he wants to help the president, that's we should do instead of writing memos. joshua: that is pure johnson. he told him, told the guy on your staff, this is what you do. that particular story came history.from oral oral history was just me it is probably reliable. the dialogue, you have to take directionally. nobody are members a conversation verbatim.
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this is pure lyndon johnson. --ries like this provide pervaded volumes about johnson when he was younger got. this is simply the way he operated. he likes to assert his dominance in a room. he didn't in ways that were crude. it's not hard to understand why someone like arthur slesinger found it unappealing. earlier.ckie mentioned -- jack you mentioned earlier. joshua: he became the appointment secretary. he was the gatekeeper. he decided not only who did and did not see the president, he decided what the president saw in terms of staff memoranda. they.n kept a two day he would put in six or seven hours, take a nap, and go back
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at it until eight. he would spend hours reading through stacks of memoranda. those were policy memos that were deeply intricate, detailed, granular. he would read through them until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. he would put instructions in for staff members. jack valenti was the first guy he saw in the morning. he would go through the memos, which he had curated. valenti read it and decided whether he got in there. the next morning he would pick up the memos and dispersed the instructions. valenti later estimated johnson was reading 300 words a week -- 300,000 words a week in policy papers. which means valenti was reading more. he was a utility player like all of them. that was a critical role. he was really brought and
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open-minded, for a guy who was really a texan who had never worked -- he went to harvard for his mba. he was a man of the world, but he did not know washington. this was the mid-1960's when there was a lot of ideas fermenting. he was seen as a friend of the oddball. he would let staff members and folks in the cabinet agencies put stuff in the night reading. >> he left the white house and went to work for the motion picture association of america, but he was the first lobbyist in this town to make $1 million a year. joshua: i heard that story, i don't know if it is true. we had an interview with him back in 1990. it was a profile. we don't let anybody edit anything out. he called me after the interview
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and asked very strongly that he wanted us to cut something. i said we are not going to do it. that was the question asking, who are the five best texans you have no involved in politics. he called me and said, you have got to change this. i could tell he was upset. i ask you this to see how much it describes what jack valenti was like. here is the end of the interview and what happened after that. [video clip] >> i think -- i thank the good lord every day. iq -- life has been 1 -- thank you. >> jack valenti felt strongly he needed additional times for remarks he failed to make. jack: brian asked me about
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political figures in texas. the two most influential in that state whose arena is the national arena would be james baker, the secretary of state and the senior senator from texas, lloyd bentsen. these men are singularly powerful. the future is cheerful for both of them. who i mentioned was the vice presidential candidate of 1988. both democrats and republicans buried -- believed he found himself with great skill, knowledge, and grace. i think you will be finding -- hearing more from him in the future. >> what does that say about jack valenti? joshua: going into this project i knew jack valenti. he was the archetype of a lobbyist. he was the washington, d.c. insider. the chiefd he was
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lobbyist for a major industry and he just potentially passed off people of importance. baker was secretary of state at the time or chief of staff. it's funny, that is not the jack valenti who comes across in resources from the mid-60's. he was very new to washington. he was there by accident. he had an incredible native intelligence, he very quickly figured this town out, came to understand it, and came to know everyone. there was a certain humility about him, which you had to demonstrate if you were working for lyndon johnson. there was a sense of the beginning of his tenure that he was aware there were plenty of people asking who jack valenti was and why he was working for the president of the united states. he later developed that kind of
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swagger after a decade or two in washington. another valenti who comes through in those sources. brian: what year did you read about lincoln? joshua: i must have written it around 2012. >> where do you live? joshua: hoboken. brian: when did you start on this book? began six months after "lincoln's boys." i began more seriously a year later. i had two little girls around the house, i had to take this slower. brian: what led you to being interested in this staff? joshua: i became fascinated by the dynamic between staff and their presidents. i thought about doing this or doing one on the new dealers.
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-- theme the young man young men roosevelt brought to washington in the 30's. a missing piece of the story of the great society that needed some telling. ,here's been a lot of writing there have been films on johnson recently, and they all rehash the same stories. the accomplishment of having been able to build these programs and make them last half a century, and do it in just a few years, is a remarkable achievement i don't think his staff got credited for. been influenced in the obama administration's troubles getting the aca off the ground. they did it with much more stalwart opposition. nevertheless, to think they had so much brian: let's go back to the photograph where there are two
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people that we did not talk about. next to himtheir, as marvin watson. what role did those to play? was a loner on the staff. very conservative. if political operative from texas. johnson brought him into a replace. to he was there for the second half of johnson's tenure. he was the guy who said no. he was not deeply involved in policy. he was not at heart a new frontier liberal. let me inject this from page 22. i am going to read it.
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he served ashouse, a minister without portfolio. his principal mandate was to generate ideas. the most successful politicians -- did this come from busby's book? they have a fellow in the opposite sits in the corner. he does not have to have any personality, does not know have dress, no know how to coat, but they will sit in the corner. they do not meet any of the people who come into the office. joshua: that is from an oral sby.ory with bu he had grown up a political junkie and consumed political news from the age of 10. dotson brought him onto his
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house staff and then his political staff. busby left his staff. he could only subordinate his personality to johnson. they remained close. as we made a lot of money in the private sector and came back to 1950 four ande in left around 1966. he was back in the fold in 1968, not formally on the staff. was busby's role for johnson. brian: who did busby not get along with on the staff? lawyers hady and very little love lost between them. to some extent, mcpherson who
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accommodated the lawyer faction. on the other side, there were jack i did not share the same politics. there was a great tension between the two factions, particularly between busby and the -- moyers. in every respect, it seemed to me as i looked back on those years and the time i spent briefly with him in 1954 and 1960 -- he always had a better eye for the horizon than anyone else around, except the anon. -- the anon. that is -- vietnam. that is an enigma i have not figured out yet. brian: you suggest in the book
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-- he has not written about those years much. that is unusual. joshua: he has done it occasionally. he did some personal interviews. there are definitely transcripts that he has spoken at. did not ask to speak with him, i just reached out to let him know i was writing it. he is an enigma. he did not sit for oral histories with the lbj library. johnson said he was like a son to him. some people realized that moyers was the de facto chief of staff. he was the press secretary and always at johnson's side and back and call. iny had a mysterious fallout
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1967. they did not speak again after moyers left white house. offensively, it is about vietnam. i think it was in some part because moyers was developing his own public persona and reputation and had staked out a reputation with reporters for having been more doubtful about the administration's vietnam policy. brian: you write that this narrative vastly -- at a dinner party, jack and his wife shared a table with arthur, who grumbled at lbj for not billning to the advice of moyers when he was presidential aide. arthur protested that bill held no such view -- jack protested that bill had no such view.
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he never let anyone know his true feelings. the president made it very clear that with the exception of , no higher official was opposed to our position. valenti onelieve that. time, he was jockeying for other jobs in the white house and administration before he left. he leave indid protest. i think he and the president had come to the end of the road of the relationship. moyers was in bobby kennedy's camp. conversation reflects a desire on the part of to cast moyers as the good angel and the white house who ultimately had to leave because he was cast aside. that vastly overplays it.
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the book is not about vietnam. the idea that he left in protest because of vietnam was manufactured by a lot of the kennedy partisans. brian: your personal view on this. you have spent a lot of time with these people. you think you would not like working with -- who do you think you would not like working with? joshua: there is a guy we have not talked about, george reidy. brian: hold it right there. i have some video of george reidy. this was done in 1996. he is no longer with us. >> when it comes to , johnson was positively chaotic. he never really quite knew who was running things. quite often, you had to step in
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because nobody else was going to step in and somebody had to do something. joshua: he had been a longtime aide in the senate. presidential staff, he was press secretary for a while before he got more doubt -- moved out. george reidy despised moyers. i think you have to put a big there.k he had an ax to grind. if you ask him about the weather, he will give you the history of the weather and then tell you what the weather is. he seemed like he was a bit inseparable to work with. -- insufferable to work with. brian: did you listen to any of the oval office conversation? joshua: i read the transcript. it is difficult to know who is speaking.
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most of them have been transcribed. they are incredibly useful. beginning of the transcript of what is being said. with johnson, you have to be very careful. just take a transcript of a conversation between him and his aides or a third-party and assume that is definitively the history of what just happened, you better go back and listen to the other conversations. 15 minutes later with a very liberal legislator and 10 minutes later with a staff member. his conversations with staff members are the most illuminating and useful. they provide unvarnished truth.
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brian: he was oftentimes not pleasant with george reedy. he had health issues, struggled with weight and drinking. ruthless with him. at the same time, he could be very generous. he would buy him a new car after having humiliated him in front of a bunch of other staff members. he was a very complicated guy to work with. had been close for 20 years, but in the 1970's, he became extremely critical of johnson. in interviews, he would certainly acknowledge the finer points about johnson, particularly he thought johnson's stance on civil rights was unassailable. he became a real johnson skeptic later in years.
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much videoe is not on him. jacobson, who quoted as saying very strong things about the staff in the white house. who was he and what role did he play? inhua: two does not factor too much in the book. was born in new jersey but grew up in texas. johnson brought him towards the last year and a half or two years of the administration. i did not look at him too much. i think he was mostly useful in providing a way to examine some of the characters that were instrumental in building great society programs. he did not think very highly of telefonica -- he literally had built an empire
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in florida where he commandeered secretaries and clerks. he was a powerhouse. jacobson did not think highly of him. he did not particularly like moyers as well. he was the insider who did not have a great affinity for many of these actors. he was there because of his relationship with johnson but not part of that great society project. brian: you grew up where? joshua: i grew up in new jersey. brian: what were your parents doing? joshua: my dad was a reporter and my mom was a social worker. i was kind of living and breathing state politics. breathinggrew up state politics. probably around the age of four, i could name more state
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legislators than i can today. brian: for did you go to college -- where did you go to college? joshua: i studied with jim patterson, one of the giants of 20th century american history. withs a privilege to work gordon wood. brian: he was here a couple weeks ago. lyndon johnson left the presidency in january 1969. were you alive? joshua: no. i was born in 1974. brian: how did you try to get to know him and these aides? joshua: i find them all to be incredibly difficult. john hay had a great line about lincoln. that totally inscrutable, weary look of his.
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easier found to be much to access. their memos to write the policy pieces of the book. --ound the world histories oral histories to be very helpful because these are transcripts of people just talking. their style,stand how the frame things, their sense of humor. these transcripts could go on for thousands of pages. you could know them a little bit better. if you read contemporary newspaper coverage of them, it does not particularly -- you could tell there was a lot of presentation of who they were. just notreally were come through in a lot of the contemporary coverage. brian: did you read every one of
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those nine books? joshua: johnson staff? absolutely. brian: which of those books were good and which weren't? george reidy's for tough. george reidy's were tough. i think it was entertaining, but valenti, i think he was posturing for history at that point. you a betterives look at policy. the one i found the best was harry mcpherson's book, political education, which has become a classic for people in washington. it is not just about the white house years. mcpherson strikes you as what
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all his contemporaries said he was, just thoughtful and serious individual who could take johnson for good and bad. brian: we have to act fast. after the white house, what did marvin watson do? joshua: she went back to texas -- he went back to texas. brian: lobbying? we talked about jack. we talked about bill moyers. i do not know a lot about sorenson's career. healy stayed around for a couple weeks or months. he was just great stricken by kennedy's assassination. stricken by kennedy's
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assassination. brian: you have 80% of your stuff in there. days later, captain graham said -- katharine graham said to show sorenson a little love. he was marvelous but also a little hurt. we all have to just imagine how he feels in that he is a man who, instead of crying did this really naughty trick of being cantankerous and hurt. days afterse are the the assassination. he barely came into the office at that point. he helped write johnson's first speech before congress, the one where he calls for a civil rights act. he had a line in there to the effect of a company who cannot -- effect of, who cannot fill his shoes -- they struck that
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line from the speech. he thought unnecessarily with t unnecessarilyh with johnson. he imparted a non-interest in working with the white house. brian: at the end of your book you say we share the disappointment that they did not get to see the woman -- see a woman ascend to the presidency. and they're concerned that the new administration were not treat every american with respect or dignity. joshua: that is probably the best line in the book. my daughter lillian will be nine in april. he watched me write this book for a few years but are also added the interested in politics. -- avidly interested in politics.
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they were excited to see a woman run for the presidency. we talked to them about it. brian: define your own politics. joshua: i am left of center. i am a democrat, but i like this era because the party was more polarized at that point. even the role republicans who worked with the johnson administration, there were southern democrats who were essentially classified as deeply conservative retrogressive. -- 313, usege what a qualitative of liberalism assumed the american economy would continue to grow in perpetuity, that economists and social scientists finally understood how to manipulate the right levers to ensure a steady growth and low inflation. great society, the list is
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enormous. some rights, medicare, medicaid, there is a lot more. we are now $20 trillion in debt. they did this in the context of a postwar economy that was booming. growth seemed to be boundless. you simply needed to provide people -- you needed to grow the pie. , inequality isr growing and wages have stagnated . pure people have access to employer-based health care or benefits and pensions. despite my admiration for the great society, enough of a stop
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bleak in theore economy that we had when johnson was in the white house. assignhow much can you to lyndon johnson and everyone followed him, saying we will enact this now and someone else will have to pay for it later? joshua: so these programs, i do not think they realized. supposed to be a program to capture and help those who would not help themselves. was for people who had fallen out of the workplace, people who were very sick and uninsurable. that was a small population area it has become larger because many employers do not provide employees with health care and repair them -- and we pay them so little. more children are growing up, 31% in a single-parent household. wages have stagnated.
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you have more children in poverty than you did then. i would say the structural structure ofe today's economy actually created many of these ballooning costs. it was never perceived that we would have to inequality that we do today. brian: did we pay for the vietnam war at the time? joshua: at the time? no. they could not ask for a tax increase. brian: have we paid for the iraq war? have we paid for the afghanistan war? joshua: absolutely not. inequality, whether measured by household income or , if many conservatives regard the great society as an exercise in unbridled liberalism -- on the left there is growing consensus that the economy finance more and not less state
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intervention. where will the money come from? hillary clinton's campaign briefly flirted with the idea of having universal guaranteed family income. is -- your question is a good one and a fair one. an we going to create economy where you do not have this inequality? if we do not, there will be a demand for some sort of redistribution. rejected the, they redistribution of wealth. i think we will see in calling for it. brian: the first year food stamps passed, 500,000 on food stamps. today it is 45 million. do you think they ever thought it would be 45 million people? joshua: if you ask people like paul ryan, they say this got way out of control. they created generations of
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dependency. the other way to look at it, they are taught -- the architects of it never anticipated a world where good wages were paid -- their grandkids are working the equivalent jobs with no theth care, no pension and costs from everything to health care and food has gone up. is it the programs that grew out of whack or is it the economy that left all these people behind and left them under the lines to qualify them? i would lean towards the latter interpretation. what do you do on a full-time basis to take care of your family? i worked am lucky that in politics for a number of years.
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i work in corporate communications. i am lucky that i sideline as a columnist for politico. i read a column called the history department for a magazine. we try to take academic history and distribute it to a broader audience. it is one of the most successful columns. brutalbecome a pretty profession. it was bad when i was getting out of grad school. universities are moving from tenure to tenure track professors. universities themselves are under financial strain. thatlize on some level this is not long-term viable. i wanted to work in politics. i enjoy writing about it and reading about it. brian: who did you work for?
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joshua: i work for a number of democrats. for the governor of new jersey. brian: the future writing of yourself. what is your next book? joshua: i am still working that out. i do not want to surprise and shock my editor. i am thinking about taking a couple stories to look into the decline of unions. i think everyone is fascinated by the states and regions of the country that have been left behind. i want to look at different institutions and what unions and how the government let them down. brian: really have 30 seconds. and lookyou look back at all these people who worked for johnson, how big of a difference is there between
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those two arrows between lincoln betweenson -- eras lincoln and johnson? joshua: it was very much the same experience. brian: the book is called society."the great there is a lot more in here about the people who worked for lyndon johnson. thank you. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at you q and a are available as c-span
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podcasts. if you enjoyed this interview, here are other programs you might like. our two-part interview with --itzer prize-winning cairo carrow. you can watch these any time or search our entire video library at ♪ c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, bloomberg senate reporter and national editor discuss the week ahead in congress and at the
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white house. -- talkingnymous about efforts to implement the new tax law. we sure to watch washington journal each sunday for our special series on 1968, america in turmoil. we look back 50 years to that turbulent time in 1968, including the vietnam war and the presidential election. monday on landmarks cases, we explore the civil rights cases of 1983. the supreme court decision that struck down the civil rights act of 1965. justice john marshall coast -- cast the lone vote in opposition. before this case and the ruling
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-- explore this case and the ruling. cases live on monday at 9:00 eastern on c-span, or listen on the free c-span radio app. order your copy of the landmark c-span.orgat /landmark cases. resource,itional there is a link on our website to the national cost tuition centers interactive constitution national constitution center's interactive constitution. announcer: a review of question time from australia with prime minister turnbull. at 11:00 p.m., another chance to seek your day --


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