The first episode of a podcast that alumna Caitlin Rathe (PhD, 2019) has been a part of creating since August 2018 has gone live! The NEH-funded project, LBJ and the Great Society, tells the story of Johnson’s remarkable domestic policy legacy piecing together oral histories, telephone calls from the White House, and other archival audio sources. The podcast website describes the project thus:
President Lyndon B. Johnson is today remembered largely for his failure in Vietnam. But before the war sunk his presidency, LBJ compiled a record of accomplishment on the domestic front unmatched since FDR. Medicare, civil and voting rights, clean air and water, Head Start, immigration reform, public broadcasting — fifty years later, these programs are so deeply woven into the fabric of American life that it is difficult to imagine the country without them. So how did Lyndon Johnson, who made so ruinous a mess in Vietnam, pull off so extraordinary a feat at home? That’s the question we’ll be exploring through the recorded recollections of those who were there when this history was being made, and who had a hand in its making. Hosted by Melody Barnes, chief domestic policy advisor to Barack Obama.
The podcast also features interviews with pre-eminent scholars of American history and politics, including with the UCSB History Department’s own Alice O’Connor. Professor O’Connor’s interview will air as part of the final installment, the ‘Legacy’ episode, which will be released on March 10th.
The podcast is freely available on all major platforms, including Apple, Stitcher and Spotify. For more information and to take a listen online, see the podcast website, LBJsGreatSociety.org.