Chapter

Sisyphus and Tantalus

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125725.003.0006
Sisyphus and Tantalus

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Lyndon Johnson and George Romney summarized their experiences with Vietnam during 1967 and early 1968. Both had public epiphanies about the war that would cost them a chance to win the presidency, and they would spend the rest of their lives looking back with regret. Johnson and Romney could be easily compared to Sisyphus and Tantalus, the characters from Greek mythology condemned by the gods to eternal torture for their misdeeds: Sisyphus rolling his stone up a hill but always having it roll back down, Tantalus burning with thirst but never able to reach the water. This chapter analyzes how Vietnam affected their political fortunes and how the Republican Party attempted to appropriate the war as a campaign issue.

Keywords: Lyndon Johnson; George Romney; Sisyphus; Tantalus; presidency

Chapter.  16353 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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