Presidency of LBJ

SUN, NOV 20, 2005 (1:29:47)

Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of President Johnson delivers the keynote address in the Kennedy Library's ongoing examination of 20th century presidents. He is joined by Jack Valenti, who served as Special Advisor to President Johnson; Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer Anthony Lewis; and Boston University historian Bruce Schulman to discuss President Lyndon Baines Johnson's legacy. Harvard University historian Lizabeth Cohen moderates the discussion.

+ BIO: Robert Caro

For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor.

To create his first book, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Caro spent seven years tracing and talking with hundreds of men and women who worked with, for, or against Robert Moses, including a score of his top aides. The book was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century.

Caro graduated from Princeton University and later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.

+ BIO: Jack Valenti

As president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Jack Valenti is a leading figure in the American film and television industry's efforts to fight digital piracy.

A former journalist, Valenti has written three non-fiction books - The Bitter Taste of Glory, A Very Human President, and Speak Up With Confidence - and the political novel, Protect and Defend.

He earned a B.A. from the University of Houston and an M.B.A. from Harvard.

+ BIO: Anthony Lewis

Lewis was born in New York City on March 27, 1927. He attended the Horace Mann School in New York and received his BA degree from Harvard College in 1948. Lewis won his first Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1955 as a reporter for the Washington Daily News before joining The New York Times in 1955. After joining the The Times, he won a second Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for his coverage of the US Supreme Court.

Lewis has written three books: Gideon's Trumpet, about a landmark Supreme Court case that compelled states to provide attorneys for indigent defendants; Portrait of a Decade, about the seismic changes in American race relations; and Make No Law, about Times v. Sullivan, a Supreme Court case that changed the course of First Amendment litigation in America.

For 15 years, Lewis taught a course on the Constitution and the press at Harvard Law School. Last year, he was named Visiting Lombard Lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

+ BIO: Bruce J. Schulman

Bruce Schulman is the author of From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Federal Policy, Economic Development, and the Transformation of the South, 1938-1980; Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism; and The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics.

In 1989-90 he was director of the History Project in California, a joint effort of the University of California and the California State Department of Education to improve history education in the public schools. In 1993, as associate professor at UCLA, Schulman received the Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award and the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching. From 1997 to 2002 he was director of the American and New England Studies Program at Boston University.

+ BIO: Lizabeth Cohen

Lizabeth Cohen is the Howard Mumford Jones Professor American Studies and currently Chair of the History Department of Harvard University. She is the author of Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (1990, new edition with new introduction 2008), winner of the Bancroft Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer, and A Consumers Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (2003). Her interests have focused on integrating social, cultural, and political history in the twentieth century, probing how people's social and cultural experiences and identities shaped their political orientations. In her current research, she is exploring the rebuilding of American cities after World War II by investigating the life and career of a major figure in urban renewal, Edward J. Logue. Her current research is supported by grants from the Real Estate Academic Initiative, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, all of Harvard University.

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
American Experience: The Presidents Series