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LISTENING TO HISTORY — BILL MOYERS REFLECTS
President Johnson and McGeorge Bundy
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June 1, 2007

There's no doubt that technology is changing the way we handle our history. Now conversations — once ephemeral — can be preserved forever — if no one holds down the erase button. Nowhere is this change more evident than in the world of Presidential politics. In recent years, recordings from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations have become available to the public.

Historians have been quick to make a new sub-genre out of interpreting these tapes. Columbia University's Alan Brinkley, finds them an incomparable source: "No collection of manuscripts, no after-the-fact oral history, no contemporary account by a journalist will ever have the immediacy or the revelatory power of these conversations." But the tapes themselves make fascinating listening for anyone and many are available to you now online.

This week Bill Moyers reflects on a conversation between Lyndon Johnson and his National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy that took place in 1964. Check back for streaming audio and video — in the meantime explore the audio world of the White House through the links below and talk back on the blog.

References and Reading:
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
The Johnson Library presents selections from the Johnson tapes on its Web site.

Miller Center of Public Affairs - Presidental Recordings Program
The Miller Center, housed at the University of Virginia, holds extensive tape collections from every administration from FDR to Nixon.

Related Media:
MARILYN B. YOUNG on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL
Historian Marilyn B. Young, co-editor of IRAQ AND THE LESSONS OF VIETNAM: OR, HOW NOT TO LEARN FROM THE PAST

Published June 1, 2007

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LISTENING TO HISTORY
Bill Moyers reflects on a taped conversation from 1964 between LBJ and his National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy.

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