Yes, he was great
Writing about Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-Va.) Sept. 23 Book World review of “Leadership in Turbulent Times” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, “In times of crisis, four presidents became great leaders,” Scott Wallace implied in his Oct. 6 Free for All letter, “Vietnam destroyed LBJ’s legacy,” that perhaps Goodwin included President Lyndon B. Johnson among Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt because she briefly worked in the Johnson White House.
I believe Goodwin justifiably included Johnson among those great leaders because of Johnson’s accomplishments, including creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, legislation creating Medicare and Medicaid, the Fair Housing Act, the Clean Air Act, legislation requiring truth in packaging, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the Gun Control Act and other Great Society legislation, too many to list here.
Perhaps a fairer description of Johnson’s presidency could be found in “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson” by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert A. Caro.
Lyndon B. Johnson