Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream Themes

Doris Kearns Goodwin
This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.
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Power and Control

Every human desires some measure of control over himself, his circumstances, his lifestyle, his goals, and his future. Without such control, an individual feels helplessness and in despair, becoming dysfunctional. The issue appears to be in the understanding of the limits of control and in using reasonable rationality in one's pursuit of it.

Goodwin traces the theme of power through control throughout this work, beginning with Johnson's utter lack of control over self as a young child to his zenith at the height of his Senate career through the first years of his presidency, and ultimately to the inevitable self-destruction it wrought.

During his childhood, Johnson's parents continually fought for control over him. It was not until he struck out on his own by leaving for California that he began to feel some power over self. Once he decided to become a politician, it became his...

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This section contains 1,159 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream Study Guide
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