What the War on Poverty Was Supposed To Be: A Look Back at LBJ and the Politics of the Sixties

Fifty years ago in 1964, Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." In 1988, Ronald Reagan responded in a famous speech that poverty had won the war. In this free and public McConnell Center talk, Kent Germany, PhD, will explore new documents and once-secret White House recordings to see what LBJ intended the "War on Poverty" to be. According to Germany, the "War on Poverty" was hobbled from the start by Johnson’s overly ambitious rhetoric and evolved over the next half century into something that challenges easy labels of success or failure. 

Germany is a joint professor in the University of South Carolina’s history and African American studies departments. He previous was on the faculty at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, where he led the LBJ project, co-founded the award-winning website www.whitehousetapes.org and served as a host of For the Record, a nationally distributed PBS interview program on politics and history.

Germany is the author of New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship and the Search for the Great Society, a finalist for the Organization of American Historian’s Liberty Legacy Award for best book on civil rights. He is the co-editor of four books on Johnson’s White House tapes, including The Presidential Recordings: Lyndon B. Johnson: Toward the Great Society, which was the winner of the 2011 PROSE Award for Best eProduct in the Humanities. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Ekstrom Library, Chao Auditorium
2215 S. 3rd Street , Louisville, Kentucky 40208

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Students, Faculty/staff, Alumni, Public


Provost, McConnell Center





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GlyptusAnn Grider Jones

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