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The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson

The United States and the World, 1963-1969

Jonathan Colman

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Drawing on recently declassified documents as well as some of the latest published research, The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson provides a fresh general account of President Johnson's handling of US foreign relations. It begins with an exploration of the Johnson White House, and then considers US policies towards Vietnam, Britain and France, the NATO alliance, the Soviet Union and communist China, the Middle East, the Western Hemisphere, and the international economy. The author contends that although the war in Vietnam could have been prosecuted more effectively, overall Johnson dealt with the world beyond the borders of the United States very capably. In particular, he dealt with successive challenges to the NATO alliance in a skilled and intelligent manner, leaving it politically stronger when he left office in 1969 than it had been in 1963.

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1. The Johnson White House and Foreign Policy
2. Vietnam: Going to War, 1963-65
3. Vietnam: Waging War, 1965-69
4. Two Allies: Britain and France
5. NATO Nuclear Sharing and Troop Offset
6. Two Adversaries: The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China
7. Two Crises in the Middle East: Cyprus, 1964, and the Six-Day War, 1967
8. The Western hemisphere: The Alliance for Progress, Cuba and the Dominican Republic
9. Dollars and Gold: Monetary and Trade Policy

About the Author

Jonathan Colman teaches international and US history at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England. He is the author of A ‘Special Relationship’? Harold Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson and Anglo-American Relations ‘at the Summit’, 1964-68 (2004), and The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson: The United States and the World, 1963-69 (2010). He has also published numerous articles in leading peer-reviewed journals.


In this finely researched book, Jonathan Colman places himself at the head of Lyndon Johnson revisionism. Without ignoring the mistakes of LBJ's management of the Vietnam War, Colman makes a good case for seeing and judging Johnson's foreign policy in the round. This is an indispensable addition to the literature on President Lyndon Johnson.
- John Dumbrell, Professor of Government, Durham University

A very worthwhile contribution to foreign relations literature. For students of US foreign relations it offers an interesting and broad introduction to the Johnson administration’s attempts to grapple with world issues. For scholars and historians it presents a new perspective on Johnson.

- Ben Offiler, University of Nottingham, 49th Parallel