Possibly a blessing from above, but without invoking the celestial power, an earthly thanks for this publication and Review by Woods and Worsencroft as they combined here to set a more accurate understanding and record of the Johnson Administration and years before both the bar of history and the more general audience for those who can and do pay attention to such matters.
Have found for many decades, am much in agreement with Woods on the legacy of Johnson's years concerning the Great Society and its achievements; just as have long been in agreement, the detraction of Vietnam has tarnished and misdirected understanding of Jonson's Administration and efforts on behalf of the American people. Possibly, as a little biased having spent my own early years in that Govt. and having a few contacts with it efforts
That does not mean one cannot be objective about those contributions realized by this most important historical and political experience set down during the 1960s.
Woods five key areas are quite accurate and Pres. Johnson's tremendous support for Civil Rights went considerable to advance the questions of equality in America as then they were known. His political support helped persuade the South to give greater leeway and ground, despite that violent and vicious attack upon Civil Rights Leaders which attempted to halt progress in creation of a more fair and equal American society. Those mentioned right wing and conservative politicos whose attempts to distort and misinterpret, as Wood indicated, did a greater disservice to themselves and the American public.
As the Review calls it, the 'standard interpretation' of Vietnam as limiting domestic reforms and progress is quite accurate and historically correct. Division of resources between the war effort and domestic needs became far more a hindrance than a benefit.
Consider that 3,5 percent unemployment in the late 1960s was achieved only then, in a limited war economy, and financed with what amounted to buy now, pay later economics.
The Great Society was not creeping Socialism and that misinterpretation whether deliberate for political advantages or outright misunderstanding should be rejected out of hand. Woods volume and Worsencroft's Review go a long distance toward setting forth a sound and accurate historical record to understanding those years and that Govt., especially now in the face of so many differences over and between the Govt. and the American public.
To paraphrase, Woods and Worsencroft, 'have gotten it right'.