Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency

Jun 04, 2012

"This book throbs with voices from an era that proved to be a hinge of American history. No one should be more eager to hear those voices than Barack Obama, whose path to the White House was cleared by LBJ's indomitable will." – Bill Moyers

In INDOMITABLE WILL: LBJ in the Presidency, Mark K. Updegrove brings Johnson compellingly to life through the stories and recollections of those who were with him throughout his presidency—friends and family members, aides and cabinet members, political allies and enemies, and members of the White House press pool—and in Johnson's own words through intimate recollections as history was being made.

Updegrove writes, "For it is through firsthand narrative more than anything, that Lyndon John­son—who teemed with vitality in his sixty-four years and remains enigmatic nearly four decades after his passing—comes to life."

INDOMITABLE WILL is an intimate, insightful view of LBJ: the good, the bad, the ugly and the pure; a president who worked feverishly to do "the greatest good for the greatest number" of Americans and was desperate for their elusive approbation.

About Indomitable Will

An all-encompassing oral history of Lyndon Johnson's presidency, told in the words of LBJ himself and those who knew him best. With over 25 unique photographs and never-before published documents, including transcripts from LBJ's phone conversations while in office.

Reviews of Indomitable Will

"Updegrove's valiant and interesting effort to reappraise the man and his presidency is both valuable and necessary." – Booklist Review

"Lyndon Johnson was so big a figure that no one canvas, let alone one book can adequately capture him. Yet Mark K. Updegrove, the director of the Johnson Library and Museum, does remarkably well with one crisp phrase: 'Flawed, yes, and not always good, but great.' This is serious work, with a serious second look at a lot of the received wisdom, which is, of course, flawed conventional wisdom about Johnson." – The Boston Globe

"Mark K. Updegrove has written a clever book that LBJ himself—his Machiavellian subject—would have enjoyed. Indomitable Will is a great read for those who enjoy an articulate description of how American politics shape-shifts into history over time. The author tells a story that seems to encapsulate LBJ's approach to life." - Buffalo News

"LBJ oral history holds surprises." - San Antonio Express-News

Lyndon Baines Johnson is an often underappreciated and largely misunderstood U.S. president. His sweeping legislative agenda transformed modern America—in civil rights, education, health care, immigration, arts and humanities, and the environment—but he is remembered most for his failed policy in Vietnam. As the long shadow of Vietnam recedes and Johnson's domestic accomplishments continue to resound, a new view of LBJ's indelible mark on America is overdue. And it is particularly timely as the election of 2012 unfolds and the role of the federal government, as well as some of LBJ's landmark legislation—Medicare, Voting Rights, immigration reform—is at the center of much of the debate.

Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency is available now at the LBJ Library Store. To order, please call 512-232-2396. Also available at through these online vendors:

Barnes & Noble


News Coverage

Business Report
Charles "Chip" Groat - Founding President and CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf. read more

Houston Chronicle
The Houston Chronicle praises Indomitable Will for offering a unique perspective of LBJ. read more

Dallas News
Updegrove presents the drama and thrill of history in discussing Indomitable Will in a presentation in Dallas. read more praises the enhanced version of Indomitable Will. "Indomitable Will ,brings readers a new understanding of Lyndon B. Johnson with its insight into the minds of those who knew him best. The Enhance Nook Book, takes that a step further, introducing key, multimedia to get a taste and feel for how the former president operated. read more

Clinton School of Public Service
Updegrove speaks and signs books at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. read more

The San Antonio Express-News
The San Antonio Express-News points out differences between Indomitable Will and Robert Caro's new book on LBJ regarding the Kennedy assassination. read more

Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Morning News gives Indomitable Will a favorable review. read more

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Mark speaks about Indomitable Will at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, interviewed by John Avlon, writer for The Daily Beast.

Bill Thompson's "Eye on Books"
Listen to Mark's radio interview with Bill Thompson's "Eye on Books." read more

The University Daily Kansan
Updegrove speaks about Indomitable Will and LBJ's domestic contributions at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas. read more

The Dole Institute of Politics is continuing its Presidential Lecture Series with upcoming events on Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. read more

Junkyard Wisdom
Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency by Mark K. Updegrove is a fascinating look at one of the most contradictory personalities in American history. Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the great legislators in American history. read more

San Antonio Express-News
"Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency" has many authors, including Lyndon Baines Johnson of Stonewall himself. read more

Austin American Statesman
The Austin American Statesman highlights Indomitable Will. read more

Living the Dream
Living the Dream –a podcast interview with Mark Updegrove about his new book, Indomitable Will and the numerous achievements of the Great Society. read more

WJBC Radio
In this interview with Mark Updegrove, host Steve Fast explores the sweeping legislation passed during the Johnson Administration and how it resonates today. read more

HARDBALL's Chris Matthews interviewed Updegrove about Indomitable Will on Friday, March 30th on MSNBC. Matthews concentrated on the sweeping legislation passed by LBJ and his ability to work with Congress.

Texas Monthly
An exclusive excerpt from Indomitable Will was featured in the March issue of Texas Monthly magazine. read more

The Alcalde Texas
Alumni of The University of Texas had the opportunity for a sneak peak inside Updegrove's new book on LBJ. read more

The Economist
The Economist quotes from Indomitable Will. read more

Mark Updegrove was featured on Austin's Your News Now talking about his new book about LBJ, Indomitable Will. read more

Library Director Updegrove interviewed on MSNBC's Morning Joe about Indomitable Will. Mika Brzezinski called the book a "must read."

Mark Updegrove, author of Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency, joins The Dylan Ratigan Show for a history lesson on the life of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the contemporary connections to the challenges he faced.

KUT Radio
Mark Updegrove talked recently with KUT’s Jennifer Stayton, saying that Johnson’s presidential record needs a closer look. read more