Taking Charge

  • by Michael R. Beschloss
  • Narrated by Michael R. Beschloss
  • 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 unprecedented power, 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 revolutionary 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 the US 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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What the Critics Say

"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." (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great as an audiobook

I agree with another reviewer who said this was one book that works better as an audio book than in print - for anyone interested in this period of American history, the American presidency and/or LBJ this is well worth listening to. The original tapes are fascinating and Beschloss' commentary is generally good. I highly recommend this audiobook.
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- Amanda

Great use of audiobook format and primary sources

Listening to this book is such a wonderful and unique experience I can't imagine what it is like to read it in print. Much of the power of the material would be lost. Taking Charge is made for the audiobook format. It is a great use of primary source historical materials. Beschloss sets up each snippet of LBJ's conversation and then you get to hear LBJ himself. Fascinating and fun. Great listening.
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- NOLAHunter

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio