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Download Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes, 1964-1965 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnsons Secret White House Tapes, 1964-1965 Audiobook, by Michael R. Beschloss Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (54 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael R. Beschloss Narrator: Michael R. Beschloss, Judith Ivey Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2001 ISBN: 9780743563666
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Reaching for Glory lets us eavesdrop on LBJ's private, often tortured thoughts during the most crucial year of his presidency -- when his dreams of being hailed as the equal of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt were destroyed by the war in Vietnam.
As Reaching for Glory opens, LBJ is campaigning for the greatest presidential landslide in history. To win, he hands embarrassing secrets about Barry Goldwater to friendly reporters. When Johnson's closest aide is arrested in a sex scandal, he tries to keep it from exploding before the election.
This audiobook reveals the secret history of how Lyndon Johnson took us step by step, often by stealth, into Vietnam. While publicly boasting that there will be victory in Vietnam, he privately worries that the war can never be won and that it will crush his presidency. He foresees the backlash against the war, civil rights, and the Great Society that will bring Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to power.
Reaching for Glory lets us hear LBJ's private telephone conversations with Jacqueline Kennedy just after her husband's assassination. It allows us to live at Lyndon Johnson's side, day by day, through the dramatic, triumphant, catastrophic, and pivotal year of a turbulent presidency that continues to affect all of our lives. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Reaching for Glory provides an incomparable portrait of a president at work, and the workings of a president’s mind.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Johnson’s genuine passion for creating a more equitable, racially open society shines through in these pages, but so do his willful pragmatism, his obsession with enemies, his penchant for self-pity, rationalization and exaggeration…The volume takes on a terrible momentum. Given the events that occurred in Southeast Asia, we read of Johnson’s decisions with a mixture of fascination and horror conferred by our retrospective knowledge.”

    New York Times

  • “Beschloss is a knowledgeable, assured, and dispassionate collector…With an apparently limitless self-regard, LBJ taped himself practicing the most unscrupulous forms of American national politics, which in that era could sink very low indeed. The depictions of Vietnam are torturous. They show an administration getting into hotter and hotter water, anguishing but adapting to the changing temperature degree by degree, slowly boiling itself alive.”

    Foreign Affairs

  • “This book must be heard. Lyndon Johnson’s words on the page are common; his voice is a revelation. The man could bully and wheedle, but he could also feel and bleed. This true-life audio drama shattered my image of the terrible oaf who backed us into Vietnam. What was most terrible about this man was his vulnerability. When he calls Jacqueline Kennedy ‘darling,’ it’s right after the assassination, and you can hear the ache in his voice.”


  • “Beschloss splendidly edits and annotates Johnson’s secret telephone recordings…Beschloss provides an engrossing personal portrayal of Johnson that breathes life.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michele | 9/28/2013

    " Some very telling recordings in here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 5/18/2013

    " fascinating perspective of LBJ's years as president directly from his tapes "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frederick Bingham | 9/28/2011

    " This book contains transcripts of tapes recorded by Lyndon Johnson during the years 1964-1965. The subject matter is interesting enough, but presented with far more detail than I wanted to plow through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 11/24/2010

    " fascinating perspective of LBJ's years as president directly from his tapes "

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About the Author

Michael R. Beschloss has been called “the nation’s leading presidential historian” by Newsweek.  He has written numerous books on American presidents and is a contributor to PBS’s The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. He received an Emmy Award in 2005 for his work on the Discovery Channel’s Decisions That Shook the World. As a public speaker, Beschloss has made appearances at a number of colleges, universities, and presidential libraries. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and two sons.  

About the Narrator

Judith Ivey was born in 1951 in El Paso, Texas. She was not quite yet a Tony Award–winner, but already a prolific Broadway and stage actress when she made her film debut appearance as Steve Martin’s love interest in Arthur Hiller’s The Lonely Guy. She then went on to star as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s older sister in the southern gothic thriller Sister, Sister. She came to star (despite her impressive resume) as what would be her better remembered role, Texan B. J. Poteet in the last season of Designing Women. Other notable characters she has played in film include Keanu Reeves’ mother in Devil’s Advocate, one of three intrepid psychics investigating a haunted house in Stephen King’s three-part miniseries Rose Red, and the recurring role of Debra Messing’s mother-in-law Eleanor Markus on Will & Grace. Her audiobook narrations have won her five AudioFile Earphones Awards.