Review Of Kotz's Book, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., And The Laws That Changed America.

1214 words - 5 pages

Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws That Changed America.


Judgment Days chronicles how Johnson and King seemed fated to lead the collapse of America's segregation views. The reader is first introduced to Johnson, the master politician soon after President Kennedy’s catastrophic assassination. Kotz shows how LBJ makes his way through this crisis to seize the moment and take the reins of the nation. He then focuses on the agony King and his family felt upon hearing the news of Kennedy's premature death. Abruptly, Kotz shifts back in time to study the early lives of the two crucial figures and provides a broad perspective of the civil rights movement and the complex relationship between Johnson and King and how these two individuals were swept up in a time of monumental change. These astounding men were complete opposites tied only by their experience with southern culture and their need to help those who were on the margins of society in regard to wealth and opportunity. Their relationship was complex and difficult for many to understand, a fragile mix of professionalism and interdependence. This relationship would help to proliferate one of the greatest movements of social change in U.S. history.
Kotz discusses how Johnson's memories of the depravation of his poverty-stricken farm life with his father in the western hill country of Texas and the impoverished Mexican Americans in his home region influenced his later decisions. Kotz reveals how a feeling of inadequacy gripped LBJ's psyche. This feeling of inadequacy sometimes drove Johnson into periods of dark depression. Yet it also encouraged him to ignore the intellectual shackles of southern traditions of racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws and fight to pass legislation that provided equality to all disenfranchised Americans. In trying to explain Johnson's enthusiasm in pushing this landmark legislation, Kotz observes that the president was significantly influenced by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and wanted to leave a mark on U.S. legislative history like his mentor FDR.
Despite Johnson's southern roots, he was never known as a white supremacist or an outspoken believer of segregation, the author suggests, however, that Johnson played "politics" until he achieved the freedom from the pork barrel compromises that had become vital in getting legislation through Congress prior to his presidency. Kotz notes that Johnson stated "that he never felt so free as when he became president," most likely because he did not have to "politic" and remain quiet about racial matters, nor did he have to worry about any longer pleasing racist citizens any longer. Even with the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, many African-American leaders doubted Johnson until they saw him in action exhibiting his complex knowledge of the inner workings of Congress and his renowned persuasive...

Find Another Essay On Review of Kotz's Book, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws That Changed America.

Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Presidency

1329 words - 6 pages Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908 and died on January 22, 1973. Johnson was a great president he was liked by many and everyone always had good things to say about him. Johnson was only 55 years old when he became president and was one of only four people who had served in all four elected federal offices of the United States. Johnson had moved quite quickly when he established himself as the President. Johnson supported the

The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr

781 words - 3 pages in December of 1956. The Supreme Court had declared Alabama's laws of segregation unconstitutional.During 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other African-American ministers established the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As president of the organization, King emphasized the importance of African-American voting rights. (Phillips 5). King published his first book, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. In 1959, he toured

The Life of Martin Luther King Jr

1827 words - 7 pages out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”.” ( “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “ I Have a Dream” 1963. web.”) Our nation has failed at obeying its creed. We didn't show that all men were created equal. We were showing the exact opposite. We treated African Americans as slaves and below us. They never acknowledged the creed. They thought that skin color changed the value of

The Life And Times Of Martin Luther King, Jr

1717 words - 7 pages . They were married in 1953 and had four children. In 1954 King accepted his first pastorate at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Mongomery, Alabama. This was a church with a well educated congregation that had recently been led by a minister who had protested against segregation.      Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lead many of the peaceful demonstrations protesting the segregation between blacks and whites. His peaceful

The Life and Achievements of Martin Luther King Jr

951 words - 4 pages five days after his assassination on April 9. The funeral was an international event, with more than 300,000 people attending it. King’s tomb is located at the King Center in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.ConclusionRev. Martin Luther King Jr. was, in many people’s eyes, one of the greatest human beings to walk the Earth. His message and legacy was one of hope and peace; that one day, white people and black people could exist

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Ethic of Love

1513 words - 6 pages The civil rights movement was a period in the United States in which African-Americans actively started to demand equality for themselves. It was a movement to end prejudice and segregation against black people so that African-Americans could live as freely as white people. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—a very popular civil rights leader during the civil rights movement—is considered one of the most influential people during this time due to

Martin Luther King Jr.

1132 words - 5 pages On April 4, 1968 an extravagant brutal event marked history. It was the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a father of four, a civil rights leader, a clergyman and the man that changed the views on segregation. When he died the investigation came alive, the dream preceded, the laws of segregation began to disintegrate and the nation joined together to fight segregation for the first time. The change to be brought forth to our nation all

Martin Luther King Jr

835 words - 3 pages The world as we know it today would not have been molded the way it is without heroes throughout time. Many strong men and women have shaped this world piece by piece to make it into the wonderful place that we live now. One superior man, named Martin Luther King Jr., desired a way to make a social change for African Americans everywhere.Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta into a family of strong religious beliefs. He was the grandson of

Martin Luther King, Jr

900 words - 4 pages the building with the white men while on break and when it started to rain they took shelter in one of the garbage trucks. The rain shorted out the mechanism that controlled the compactor and the men didn't have enough time to get out of the truck - they were crushed to death. On the morning of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assasinated by James Earl Ray. Ray would later be caught in London, England and on March 9, 1969, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. 3rd Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Jr

1810 words - 8 pages $10 and assessed $4 court fee. On the night that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil rights leaders to plan a city wide bus boycott. King elected to lead the bus boycott because he was young, well-trained with outstanding leadership qualities. He had a good reliable family connections and was professional. This went on for 382 days of non-stop violence

Martin Luther King, Jr.

1169 words - 5 pages Martin Luther King endured endless days and nights of undeserved pain and hardships. He was always fighting for African American rights. Threats after threat he never gave up on his dream. Were you aware that he almost didn’t give his “I have a dream” speech? He asked one of his aids for advice about the speech and they replied not to use the phrase “I have a dream” he said it was too cliché. Or did you know he has had his house was bombed by

Similar Essays

Martin Luther King, Jr. And Lyndon B. Johnson

1658 words - 7 pages Lyndon B. Johnson, the United States would be completely different then what one sees today. In 1949, as a student at the Crozer Theological Seminary, Martin Luther King, Jr. came face to face with the philosophical writings of Reinhold Niebuhr. King would come to use Niebuhr’s concept of Christian as the theological basis for the Civil Rights Movement. Niebuhr believed that the world was full of evils and oppressions that individuals needed to

Lyndon Baines Johnson Essay

828 words - 4 pages . Lyndon Baines Johnson made this act so no child could be left behind. Higher Education Act of 1965 helped the low and middle income students. This act supported college scholarship and student loans. Higher Education Act helped a lot of students that was in or going to college. Job corps(no-cost education) was a training for people the age of 16 to 24. Lyndon Baines Johnson created Job Corps to help people to get jobs. This was also known as

Lyndon Baines Johnson Essay

666 words - 3 pages ) Our 36th President, Lyndon B Johnson, had a great run upholding the position as President of America, if it wasn’t for the Vietnam War, I do believe that he would of ran for president again; instead when asked on a nationally televised program if he would run he said, “I shall not seek, nor will I accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president”. Johnson was one of the greatest Presidents the United States has ever experienced

Martin Luther King Jr.: How Society Changed

1084 words - 5 pages letter describing the cruelty of Birmingham (Boerst 12). In King’s letter, he blamed the white community for its unequal treatment of African Americans. He also wanted the protestors to make a stand that would force white officials to negotiate African American rights. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy were released on bond after eight days in jail. Meanwhile, King’s letter became famous for proof of nonviolent protests (14). The letter