LBJ's War

Nov 8, 2017

Through secretly taped phone calls and archival interviews, most unheard until now, this program tells the story of LBJ's fall from grace in the voices of those who were there when this history was made and who had a hand in its making.

"LBJ's War" sheds light on a question that has intrigued historians for decades: why was Lyndon Johnson, the most gifted political figure of his time, unable or unwilling to extricate his country from a war that evidence now suggests he knew was unwinnable?

A president of immense political shrewdness and skill begins his White House tenure with a string of stunning accomplishments, and appears destined for Rushmore-level greatness. Four years later, his presidency is in tatters, the spectacular early successes eclipsed by a single, equally spectacular failure: a ruinous and misbegotten war that will ultimately cost the lives of 58,000 Americans and upwards of two million Vietnamese.

How that happened — how Lyndon Johnson lost his way and came to grief in a conflict he didn't start and couldn't end — is the subject of "LBJ's War," an audio documentary in oral history form, constructed from the recorded, and largely unheard, recollections of individuals who were there when this history was being made, and had a hand in its making.

Tune in this Sunday, November 12 at 7 p.m. for "LBJ's War" on WRVO.