LBJ Book Summary - LBJ Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

LBJ summary

Randall Woods

Architect of American Ambition

4.4 (24 ratings)
17 mins
Table of Contents

    summarized in 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    Favorite Child

    “Now the light came in from the east, bringing a deep stillness, a stillness so profound and so pervasive that it seemed as if the earth itself were listening. . . And then there came a sharp compelling cry.” 

    These were the words of Rebekah Johnson on the night she gave birth to baby Lyndon Baines on August 27, 1908. She had gone into labor on an archetypical dark and stormy night, the rain having pounded all day in their city of Stonewall, Texas. The mystical-seeming birth set the tone for the rest of his childhood, in which Lyndon would be doted on by his parents as their favorite child and treated as a quasi-messiah.

    This was especially the case with Rebekah, who relied on her son often in an unhealthy, codependent fashion. Lyndon’s first memory of her was of a night when his father, Sam Ealy, still hadn’t come home by nine or ten at night. Rebekah was afraid and stood crying outside by the well. Lyndon, just three or four years old, told his mother he would protect her. 

    Although his mother doted on Lyndon, she was also hard. If he did something she disliked, she would walk around pretending he was dead for days on end. Meanwhile, he also had to contend with his father, who constantly struggled with a drinking problem. When he’d imbibed too much, Sam would swear at his children, squander his money, and occasionally beat them.

    On the positive side, his parents instilled in Lyndon a commitment to social justice. Sam, a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, was deeply committed to his local region and its people. Rebekah was a fervent believer in service and sacrifice thanks to her liberal Baptist faith. Together, they dreamed for their son to become a teacher, a preacher, or a politician. In fact, he ended up becoming two out of the three.

    Want to see all full key ideas from LBJ?

    Key ideas in LBJ

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is LBJ about?

    LBJ is the story of its namesake –⁠ Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States –⁠ from birth to death. Looking with a sympathetic, though not uncritical, eye on one of the nation’s most maligned and misunderstood leaders, it analyzes the dynamics that shaped him in his youth, the causes he championed, and the presidential decisions that turned him into an icon. By the end, you’ll come away with a much deeper, more nuanced understanding of this controversial, yet titanic, twentieth-century leader. 

    Who should read LBJ?

    • American history buffs
    • Social justice activists interested in the history of their cause
    • Anyone with preconceived notions about LBJ.

    About the Author

    Randall Woods is a historian and Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas, where he has taught since 1971. He is also the author or co-author of ten books, including Fulbright: A Biography, Shadow Warrior, and Prisoners of Hope. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in both Germany and Argentina and is a former dean of Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

    Categories with LBJ

    Books like LBJ

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial