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Robert Dallek has taught at Columbia, UCLA, and Oxford. He is currently a professor of history at Boston University. He is the author of several books, including his classic two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, Lone Star Rising and Flawed Giant and the international bestseller John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life, 1917-1963.
Few modern presidents have been the subject of as many excellent biographies as Lyndon Johnson, and this abridgment of Dallek's masterly two-volume biography, Lone Star Rising and Flawed Giant, is a welcome addition to the literature. Dallek (An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963) offers a rarity-a brief but thorough life of Johnson, now 30 years after his death. This abridgment is aimed at students who may be daunted by Dallek's lengthy two volumes or Robert Caro's projected four-volume investigation. (Caro's third volume, Master of the Senate, received the Pulitzer Prize.) This book is also excellent for all readers who want a refresher or introduction to Lyndon Johnson. Dallek skillfully discusses Johnson's political triumphs (civil and voting rights, Medicare and Medicaid, federal aid to education) and failures (Vietnam, the promise to end poverty) and portrays his complex, larger-than-life personality. He concludes that Lyndon Johnson will be remembered as a President who mirrored the best and the worst of his memorable times. See also Irwin and Debi Unger's LBJ: A Life, another worthy one-volume treatment. Dallek's abridgement is no replacement for his two-volumes, based on 14 years of research, but it is a fine addition for all public libraries.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.