Chapter

Introduction

Jonathan Colman

in The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652693 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640133.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter notes that this book provides the most sympathetic general account to date of President Lyndon Johnson's foreign policies. It argues that the escalation of the US commitment in Vietnam was a rational and well-considered policy, although the war could have been waged more effectively even in the context of avoiding Chinese and Soviet intervention. There were some missteps on other issues, but overall Johnson handled American foreign and economic policy very capably, confounding the traditional image of him as maladroit in the realm of diplomacy and in keeping with the revisionist trend in historiography. Above all, Johnson dealt with successive challenges to the NATO alliance in a skilled and intelligent manner, leaving it politically stronger when he left office in 1969 than it had been in 1963.

Keywords: President Lyndon Johnson; foreign policy; Vietnam; Chinese intervention; Soviet intervention; American economic policy; NATO alliance

Chapter.  1971 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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