Kennedy, Johnson, and the Quest for Justice

Peer inside the White House as Presidents Kennedy and Johnson grapple with racial injustice in America.

This remarkable book is composed of actual transcripts―most never before published―from the secret recordings that Presidents Kennedy and Johnson made of White House meetings and telephone conversations between the violent crisis in 1962, when James Meredith attempted to enroll at the all-white University of Mississippi, and the groundbreaking passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Setting these transcripts within an historical narrative, Jonathan Rosenberg and Zachary Karabell present the story of America's struggle for racial equality during two tumultuous years.

"Kennedy, Johnson, and the Quest for Justice' could be a textbook on how the nation's business actually gets done. It demonstrates with page after page of conversation in the White House that governing and lawmaking are not accomplished in the manner of a decree from Rome. The editors...provide an excellent narrative to keep the background in focus. Their brief essays on events of the time could serve as ready-made term papers for students clever enough to mine the index." 
― The New York Times | read the full review >