Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of PowerBy Robert A. Caro (Knopf, 712 pp., $35) I. MANY LIBERAL Democrats have yet to come to terms with Lyndon Johnson.
It was big news this summer when Majority Leader Jim Wright threatened to punch a Republican right-winger during a squabble on the House floor over a procedural vote. But the incident was right in character for the hot-tempered Texan. Over the years he's made similar threats with some regularity.
The Powers That Be by David Halberstam (Knopf; $15) David Halberstam. Halberstam, that was what everybody called him (after all, it was his name). They always said what Halberstam needed was a good editor, his sentences ran on and on, he piled phrase upon phrase and clause upon clause, he used commas the way other men used periods.
THE WITHDRAWAL of Harry S. Truman from the 1952 election race greatly increases the chances of the Democratic Party to win. With more than three months to go before the national nominating convention, the Democrats have ample time in which to weigh the available candidates and decide upon their strongest slate. In Gov. Adlai Stevenson and Sen. Estes Kefauver, the Democratic Party has two men fully acceptable as liberal standard bearers.
Andrew W. Mellon “planned, schemed, contrived and devised a comprehensive scheme and plan of tax evasions and tax avoidance while he held the office of the Secretary of the Treasury of the US.” That was the charge of the Treasury Department when Mellon left. Treasury officials claimed that Mellon defrauded the government of about $2 million in taxes owed by him for 1931, his final year as Secretary. Mellon answered simply that he had computed his own return.