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In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson

ABC News

"In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson" presents a surprising and original portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, told in the former first lady's own words -- from over 123 hours of her White House audio diaries, heard here largely for the first time ever. It recasts Lady Bird's role in the Johnson White House as her husband's closest advisor and most trusted political partner and provides history-making revelations about LBJ's time in office. It's the story of how one vastly underestimated woman navigated the power, politics and polarization of her era to become one of the most influential members of the Johnson administration... even if we never knew it. An eight-part series from ABC Audio & Best Case Studios. Hosted by New York Times bestselling author Julia Sweig. read less

Our Editor's Take

When Julia Sweig first heard a voice recording from Lady Bird Johnson in a museum in Texas, she needed to know more. Little did she know that recording was one of many that the world had never heard. In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson explores over 120 hours of audio diaries recorded during her time in the White House. Most know the story of Lyndon B. Johnson's American presidency. But only a little is available in the American history books about his wife, Lady Bird. Most people don't even know her audio recordings exist.

Sweig hosts the podcast and guides listeners through these diaries. What she found in these recordings is a story about the power of a political partnership. Yet much of this only shows up in some of the accounts of LBJ's presidency. This partnership was one Lady Bird recorded as she and Lyndon tried to navigate the turmoil of the 1960s. In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson shows Lady Bird's crucial role.

The audio diary walks through the decade's political upheaval and the riots. The In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson podcast plays its most compelling clips. The show explores complicated relationships with other key people from the times. What was behind LBJ's decision to escalate the Vietnam War? Are any conspiracy theories about LBJ's presidency true? Are the history book recounts of the Civil Rights activism correct? Audiences can hear the answers to these questions and more in the former first lady's own words. Lady Bird explains her version of a true story as it was happening.

The In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson podcast replays these recordings and explores their meaning. Sweig says the audio rewrites some of the conventional wisdom about these times. That means what listeners know about American history could change forever. This award-winning host explains the details of these recordings in a storytelling format. Each episode of the 2021 podcast is about 40 minutes long, and there are eight episodes in the series.

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