Strained relations: the effect the relationship between Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy on contemporary American liberalism

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Abstract

The paper focuses on the 1963 transition from Kennedy to Johnson and the role played by Robert Kennedy in the early months of the Johnson Presidency. It discusses Johnson’s handling of the transition and how his actions over the 1964 campaign and convention may have antagonised RFK and his supporters and further poisoned an already difficult relationship. Through the lens of this strained relationship the paper looks at the genesis of LBJ’s liberal programme and traces the events which led in 1968 to the repudiation of Johnson’s administration in “one of the greatest summersaults of political history” (White, 1969: 464). It addresses the key question of how Eugene McCarthy and RFK changed American liberalism in the guise of ‘new politics’ and questions the reality of Hubert Humphrey’s apparent move to the right in his Vice-Presidential years.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2013
Event2013 British Association for American Studies 58th Annual Conference - University of Exeter, Exeter
Duration: 18 Apr 201323 Apr 2013

Conference

Conference2013 British Association for American Studies 58th Annual Conference
CityExeter
Period18/04/1323/04/13

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Bradshaw, C. (2013). Strained relations: the effect the relationship between Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy on contemporary American liberalism. Paper presented at 2013 British Association for American Studies 58th Annual Conference , Exeter, .