A special conversation about two giants of American politics, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. Jonathan Darman, author of Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America, was interviewed by New York Times writer-at-large Sam Tanenhaus, about his new book, which recounts how from 1963 to 1966, these two men – the same age, and driven by the same heroic ambitions – changed American politics forever.

Jonathan Darman, a former correspondent for Newsweek who covered the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, shows how Johnson and Reagan, opposites in politics and style, shared a defining impulse: to set forth a grand story of America, a story in which he could be the hero. Darman’s book brings to life their vivid personalities and the anxious mood of America in a radically transformative time, revealing how, in their different ways, Johnson and Reagan jointly dismantled the long American tradition of consensus politics and ushered in a new era of fracture.

Jonathan Darman and Sam Tanenhaus, former editor of The New York Times Book Review and author of Whittaker Chambers, will discuss how America moved from Johnson’s election in 1964, the greatest popular-vote landslide in American history, to the pivotal 1966 midterms, when Reagan burst forth onto the national stage. In those few years the United States had been irrevocably altered by riots, protests, the rise of television, the shattering of consensus-and by the two towering personalities whose choices in those years would reverberate through the country for decades to come.

Jonathan Darman – “Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America” | Posted on August 11th, 2014 | Book Discussions, Creation of Blue and Red America, Public Programs