Lyndon B. Johnson is remembered in history as a larger-than-life president whose uncanny powers of persuasion allowed him to accomplish monumental legislative feats and bring sweeping changes across the country.
But in a new book "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society," historian and author Julian Zelizer offers a critique to the Johnson mystique -- arguing that "we exaggerate how much power" the 36th president actually had.
"We have this image that he could twist any arm he wanted, get any bill through Congress," Zelizer told "Top Line" in an interview. "But that doesn't really capture the moment of the 1960's when he got a lot of these bills through, and I think it does a disservice both to the current president and others who are compared to him and to Johnson in that period of time."
While Zelizer maintains that Johnson was a "great president," he points out that many of his greatest accomplishments on civil rights wereRead More »from Why LBJ Wasn’t LBJ: Debunking myths of Lyndon Johnson’s legacy