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A White House Diary
This article is about Lady Bird Johnson's 1970 memoir. For Jimmy Carter's 2010 memoir, see White House Diary.
A White House Diary is a 1970 memoir by Lady Bird Johnson.
Writing and publication
Lady Bird Johnson regularly made entries in her diary while her husband was president. The diary totaled 1.75 million words of voice recordings when Lyndon left office, and Lady Bird worked to trim it by a factor of about seven to be published. She said that the reduced size held "hopefully significant days, but some quite days."[1][2] The book was published in 1970 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston and was 806 pages.[3]
Reception
A review in The American Historical Review praised the book, which was published around the same time as Lyndon's The Vantage Point, for its insight into the American presidency.[3] The New York Review of Books considered the book to have a "lubberly vocabulary" and said she could instead have "stuck to her homey colloquialisms". They continued to say that the book's importance was "questionable" because she didn't go into much detail about the political side of the presidency and included little gossip. The reviewer concluded that "It is a harmless book, but it is very long."[1]
James Brady, writing for The Washington Post, called the book "a simply splendid account", feeling that "there never has been, and perhaps never will be, such an intimate glance of power in its private moments." He concluded that the book was "extraordinary".[4] A reviewer in The New York Times reviewed the book favorably, noting that it was "intensely personal" and considered it to have "fascinating" details.[2] Dorothy Rabinowitz in Commentary described the book as "a full, and disturbing, replay of the nation's troubles [during Johnson's term as president]."[5]
References
  1. ^ a b Stafford, Jean. "Birdbath". The New York Review of Books. ISSN 0028-7504. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  2. ^ a b Mannes, Maria (1970-10-25). "Five turbulent years as mistress of the White House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  3. ^ a b McNaught, Kenneth; Johnson, Bird (1972). "Review of The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969; A White House Diary, Lady Bird Johnson". The American Historical Review. 77 (5): 1524–1526. doi:10.2307/1861453. ISSN 0002-8762.
  4. ^ Brady, James (November 1, 1970). "Wife in the White House". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ Rabinowitz, Dorothy (1971). "A White House Diary, by Lady Bird Johnson (Book Review)". Commentary. New York City: 108–110.
Last edited on 28 May 2021, at 08:09
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