President Lyndon B. Johnson at St. John’s Church

President Lyndon Johnson Candidates John F. Kennedy and Lyndon  Johnson campaigning in Houston in 1960. (Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum)

A three-part series on Lyndon B. Johnson began today at St. John’s Church, near the White House.

This morning, Philip Bobbitt, a nephew of President Johnson who is a professor of national security law at Columbia University, gave the opening lecture. The author of seven books — most recently “Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-First Century” (2008) — Bobbitt spoke about President Johnson’s foreign policy, with special emphasis on Vietnam. You can listen to a recording of his remarks here.

Every February, St. John’s — “the church of the presidents” — sponsors talks on the life and times of a particular president. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s ascension to the Oval Office.

Next Sunday morning, Feb. 17, at 10:00, Roger Wilkins, the assistant attorney general in Johnson’s administration, will talk about the civil rights era.

On Feb. 24, at 10:00 a.m., Mark Updegrove, director of the Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, will speak on “Presidential Second Acts.”

These talks are free and open to the public. For more information call 202-347-8766.

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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Jessica Goldstein · February 10, 2013