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Lyndon Johnson in one of his favorite positions: on the telephone

And then an examination of the US escalation in Vietnam. The background reading is from the Sourcebook, pp. 302-324. A little short on time? Then these reading notes will provide you all you need to know.

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For a sense of the area's geography, click on the map--published in Time in the 1950s.

And then a couple of types of documents--which you do have to read!!


The first set of documents contains confidential memoranda and meetings from the time. How do they differ in value from the oral history? What are their strengths and limitations as sources?


The second set of documents has two transcripts of LBJ phone conversations. Does the relative informality and off-the-record nature of phone calls provide more or less insight on the administration's decisionmaking structure? Please PRINT THESE OUT for class.

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Johnson, a rather uncouth man, liked to show visitors his scar from gall bladder surgery.  This cartoonist captured a different view of the scar; click on it for a a larger view.