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LBJ's Neglected LegacyLBJ's Neglected Legacy

How Lyndon Johnson Reshaped Domestic Policy and Government

Edited by Robert H. Wilson, Norman J. Glickman and Laurence E. Lynn, Jr.

Narrated by Randall R. Berner

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Texas Press

During the five full years of his presidency (1964–1968), Lyndon Johnson initiated a breathtaking array of domestic policies and programs, including such landmarks as the Civil Rights Act, Head Start, Food Stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, the Immigration Reform Act, the Water Quality Act, the Voting Rights Act, Social Security reform, and Fair Housing. These and other “Great Society” programs reformed the federal government, reshaped intergovernmental relations, extended the federal government’s role into new public policy arenas, and redefined federally protected rights of individuals to engage in the public sphere. Indeed, to a remarkable but largely unnoticed degree,Johnson’s domestic agenda continues to shape and influence current debates on major issues such as immigration, health care, higher education funding, voting rights, and clean water, even though many of his specific policies and programs have been modified or, in some cases, dismantled since his presidency.

LBJ’s Neglected Legacy examines the domestic policy achievements of one of America’s most effective, albeit controversial, leaders. Leading contributors from the fields of history, public administration, economics, environmental engineering, sociology, and urban planning examine twelve of LBJ’s key domestic accomplishments in the areas of citizenship and immigration, social and economic policy, science and technology, and public management. Their findings illustrate the enduring legacy of Johnson’s determination and skill in taking advantage of overwhelming political support in the early years of his presidency to push through an extremely ambitious and innovative legislative agenda, and emphasize the extraordinary range and extent of LBJ’s influence on American public policy and administration.

Robert H. Wilson is the Mike Hogg Professor of Urban Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research.

Norman J. Glickman is Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning at Rutgers University. He formerly served as the Director of Rutgers Center for Urban Policy Research.

Laurence E. Lynn, Jr. is the Sydney Stein, Jr., Professor of Public Management Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Johnson presidency.


“One of the Great Society’s key legacies is that it has not disappeared but has become intertwined in what it means to exert governmental power in the modern United States. For serious students of modern U.S. governance, public policy, and politics, this book should be an invaluable resource.”

—Kent Germany, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, University of South Carolina, author of New Orleans after the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship, and the Search for the Great

LBJ's Neglected Legacy ... offers considerable insight into how the Great Society has endured despite fundamentally changed public expectations of—and confidence in—the federal government.”

Texas Monthly

“…provides a unique approach to evaluating the Johnson administration’s work.”

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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