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LBJ, Lyndon Baines Johnson: Texan, Democrat, political virtuoso. He rises up out of the 1960s like a colossus. He is admired and he is detested. Everybody who knew him had stories. Yet Lyndon Johnson was hard for the country to know. He seemed so stiff and colourless on television, not at all himself. The real Lyndon Johnson was a mover, a driver, a charmer, a bully: six feet four inches tall with a Stetson hat. He loved food: chili and tapioca pudding. He was a good dancer, a brilliant mimic. He was funny, often hilarious. But the real measure of a leader is what he gets done. Before Lyndon Johnson, the United States was essentially a segregated society. Inequality among black Americans in the South was set in law. Before Lyndon Johnson, there was no Head Start program, no Medicare — and before Lyndon Johnson, very few Americans had even heard of Vietnam. Above all, he was the central character in a struggle of moral importance ending in ruin.