He was ours: Lyndon Baines Johnson and American identity.
Briscoe, Dolph, IV.
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President Lyndon B. Johnson challenged his fellow citizens to build a Great Society based on traditional conceptions of American identity. Johnson's cultivation of a personal identity as a Texan, rather than a southerner, strengthened his determination to promote the Great Society as an American policy. A disciple of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, Johnson targeted civil rights, poverty, education, healthcare, and the general quality of life in the Great Society's domestic programs. Such massive liberal reforms proved controversial and divisive. Likewise, the Vietnam War, which Johnson often compared to World War II, provoked divisions and questions over America's true identity and purpose, despite his promotion of the war as an effort to build the Great Society abroad. Those divisions and questions, mirroring the complexities of the 1960s, affect Americans today and burden Lyndon Johnson, the Great Society, and the Vietnam War with complex historical legacies.