Confronting the Hydra

Andrew L. Johns

in Vietnam’s Second Front

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780813125725
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135427 | DOI:
Confronting the Hydra

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The reaction to the Americanization of the Vietnam conflict posed serious political problems for the president. Like Heracles confronting the Hydra—the mythical beast that would grow two heads when one was severed—Johnson found himself dealing with opposition to his policies from both conservatives and liberals. He became a political juggling act of monumental proportions; the president battled a multiheaded opposition on Vietnam as the war evolved. As Johnson fought the forces advocating negotiations or withdrawal, he had to simultaneously fend off those who pushed for a more aggressive approach in Vietnam. This chapter focuses on Johnson's efforts to manage these countervailing forces from the 1966 midterm elections, which brought a number of influential GOP doves into office, to the eve of the 1968 presidential election.

Keywords: Americanization; Vietnam conflict; Heracles; Hydra

Chapter.  17857 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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