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Download Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes 1963–1964 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes 1963–1964, 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 (77 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael R. Beschloss, Michael R. Beschloss Narrator: Michael R. Beschloss Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Taking Charge brings you into the room with an American political legend, still hated and revered a quarter century after his death. We hear Lyndon Johnson as he schemes and blusters, rewards and punishes, and reveals a bedrock core of unshakable political beliefs.

The only President to record his private conversations from his first day in office, LBJ ordered these tapes locked in a vault until at least the year 2023. But now they have been unsealed, providing a close-up look at a President taking power such as we have never had before -- from John F. Kennedy's murder in November 1963 to Johnson's campaign for a landslide victory.

Taking Charge is filled with revelations about the full-blooded Texan behind the public image. You will hear LBJ:

* Revealing his self-doubts and personal anguish over the responsibilities of the presidency

* Receiving the frank criticism of his wife, Lady Bird Johnson

* Staking his presidency on a revolutionaly civil rights bill

* Scuttling Robert Kennedy's drive to be his Vice President

* Using the Tonkin Gulf attack to expand the American beachhead in Southeast Asia

* Unveiling his private, tortured early doubts that we could ever win a war in Vietnam

Taking Charge gives us an unprecedented look into a crucial presidency that continues to shape our lives today. In LBJ's own words, it is history "with the bark off."

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Quotes & Awards

  • “These secretly recorded conversations between President Lyndon Johnson and members of his family, his staff, and the troubled nation he was governing constitute one of the most exciting audio programs of the decade, invaluable to anyone who is interested in history, politics, or the workings of human nature…An invaluable study in the psychology of power and as a unique historical document.”

    Library Journal

  • “Taking Charge gives us an incomparable picture of the character and style of one of the most remarkable personalities ever to inhabit the Presidency.”

    The New York Times Book Review 

  • “Compelling…as expertly selected, edited, and footnoted by Beschloss, the conversations form a fascinating record of the first nine months of Johnson's administration, providing new insights into his character and a revealing look at the day-to-day workings of his presidency and the crucial decisions he would make on Vietnam and civil rights.”

    The New York Times 

  • “When it comes to sheer marvelous history, Taking Charge is unbeatable.”

    The Wall Street Journal 

  • “An extraordinary study of one of the more extraordinary characters in American history. Johnson the man is brought vividly to life in Taking Charge.”

    Chicago Sun Times 

  • Ambassador Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Abdul Musa | 8/10/2013

    " Michael Beschloss did a really good job with this book. I listened to it and really got a feel for the rough and tumble of politics. Looking forward to part 2. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mel | 10/7/2011

    " It was said that Johnson ran in fear of the Kennedys, and his White House tapes seem to prove it. He continued to pour troops into Vietnam because he was afraid that Robert and Teddy Kennedy would paint him as weak on the war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Catherine Mustread | 6/4/2010

    " Read this before going to the Johnson Library in Austin. Made me more sympathetic to Johnson, as I was definitely not a fan of his in the 60s! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dan Weaver | 1/29/2010

    " Great book but I was annoyed by the footnotes. Bechloss treats his readers as if they are ignorant. "

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