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LBJ's 1968
February 2018
Cambridge University Press

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LBJ's 1968

Power, Politics, and the Presidency in America's Year of Upheaval
Kyle Longley

1968 was an unprecedented year in terms of upheaval on numerous scales: political, military, economic, social and cultural. In the United States, perhaps no one was more undone by the events of 1968 than President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Kyle Longley leads his readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of what Johnson characterized as the "year of a continuous nightmare." Longley explores how LBJ perceived the most significant events of 1968, including the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and the violent Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

His responses to the crises were sometimes effective but often tragic, and LBJ's refusal to seek re-election underscores his recognition of the challenges facing the country in 1968. As much a biography of a single year as it is of LBJ, "LBJ's 1968" vividly captures the tumult that dominated the headlines on a local and global level.


Kyle Longley is the Snell Family Dean’s Distinguished Professor in ASU's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. 

Praise for this book

"Countless historians have picked apart 1968, but Kyle Longley is the first to go inside the head of the man who, more than anyone else, defined that year — and with a style and precision that somehow makes an account of a terrible time a joy to read."

Clay Risen
The New York Times

1968 was a turbulent year in our country and a year when President Lyndon Johnson encountered what seemed like an endless series of crises. Kyle Longley has depicted the tone of the times and captured the dilemmas and decisions of LBJ in this compelling book that should be read by any student of that eventful year.

Larry Temple
Special Counsel to President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, Chairman of the LBJ Foundation