Skip to content


Lady Bird: A Biography of Mrs. Johnson

A revealing biography of Lady Bird Johnson with startling new insights into her marriage to Lyndon Baines Johnson and her unexpectedly strong impact on his presidency.
Long obscured by her husband’s shadow, Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson emerges in this first comprehensive biography as a figure of surprising influence and the centering force for LBJ, a man who suffered from extreme mood swings and desperately needed someone to help control his darker impulses.
Expertly researched and written, Lady Bird draws from rare conversations with the former First Lady and from interviews with key members of Johnson’s inner circle of friends, family, and advisers. With chapters such as “Motherless Child,” “A Ten-Week Affair,” and “LBJ’s Midlife Crisis,” Lady Bird sheds new light on Mrs. Johnson’s childhood, on her amazing acumen as a businesswoman, and on the central role she played in her husband’s life and political career. A vital link to the Kennedys during LBJ’s uneasy tenure as vice president and a voice of conscience on civil rights, Lady Bird is portrayed here as a political force, strikingly different from the somewhat minor figure depicted in previous works on LBJ. Especially fascinating today, in light of the enormous attention now focused on the private lives of our leaders, are the personal details about her marriage to a man whose extramarital affairs were widely discussed.
In this intimate portrait, Russell shows us the private Lady Bird — not only a passionate conservationist but a remarkable woman who greatly influenced her husband, his administration, and the country.After three years of cooperation with author Jan Jarboe Russell, Lady Bird Johnson ended her participation in this biography when she got a look at an essay Russell published about LBJ’s infidelities in 1997. Russell paints a fascinating portrait of Johnson–a far tougher and shrewder woman than the dutiful image she presented as first lady in the 1960s–but she also unsparingly depicts LBJ as a mighty poor husband, something his intensely loyal spouse could never countenance. When she met Lyndon Johnson in 1934, friends couldn’t imagine what smart, rich, 21-year-old Lady Bird (a nickname acquired in childhood) saw in a crude, impoverished young politician whose ego far outstripped his achievements. But she was used to overbearing men–her father was one–and the pragmatic young woman walked into marriage with her eyes wide open. She supported LBJ unquestioningly, not just emotionally but with the income from her business dealings, and quietly relished the exciting life into which he swept her. While making clear her distaste for aspects of the Johnsons’ marital bargain, Russell nonetheless offers a nuanced account of a complex relationship in which Lady Bird played a more forceful, equal role than many realized. This revisionist biography has purpose and bite. –Wendy Smith A revealing biography of Lady Bird Johnson with startling new insights into her marriage to Lyndon Baines Johnson and her unexpectedly strong impact on his presidency.
Long obscured by her husband’s shadow, Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson emerges in this first comprehensive biography as a figure of surprising influence and the centering force for LBJ, a man who suffered from extreme mood swings and desperately needed someone to help control his darker impulses.
Expertly researched and written, Lady Bird draws from rare conversations with the former First Lady and from interviews with key members of Johnson’s inner circle of friends, family, and advisers. With chapters such as “Motherless Child,” “A Ten-Week Affair,” and “LBJ’s Midlife Crisis,” Lady Bird sheds new light on Mrs. Johnson’s childhood, on her amazing acumen as a businesswoman, and on the central role she played in her husband’s life and political career. A vital link to the Kennedys during LBJ’s uneasy tenure as vice president and a voice of conscience on civil rights, Lady Bird is portrayed here as a political force, strikingly different from the somewhat minor figure depicted in previous works on LBJ. Especially fascinating today, in light of the enormous attention now focused on the private lives of our leaders, are the personal details about her marriage to a man whose extramarital affairs were widely discussed.
In this intimate portrait, Russell shows us the private Lady Bird — not only a passionate conservationist but a remarkable woman who greatly influenced her husband, his administration, and the country.

Click Here For More Information

Posted in Texas Attitude.

Tagged with , , , , .


3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. BeatleBangs1964 says

    Author’s sloppiness detracts from book’s potential 0

  2. C. Parker says

    Gracious Lady Bird 0

  3. Anonymous says

    Nice Effort, but….. 0

You must be logged in to post a comment.