Were cozy ties between Texas legislators and Halliburton’s corporate predecessor Brown and Root responsible for the passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act? The new fourth volume of Robert Caro’s Lyndon Johnson series lays out how the 36th president used his influence, often in elaborate ways, to get Congress to pass major legislation. It also raises an obvious question: Do we need a similarly imperial president to solve today’s intractable problems?
America faces not just a fiscal morass, but also an education deficit that threatens our future well-being. In these times, could we use another LBJ?