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Primary Source Project: The Book War by Lyndon B. Johnson (Essay Sample)


The book War on Poverty was written by Lyndon B. Johnson, an American President in 1960s after the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy.


Primary Source Project
Date of submission
Primary Source Project
Primary sources are materials that are directly related to a given topic by time or participation. Such materials may be letters, diaries, speeches, newspaper articles, oral historical interviews, photographs, and artifacts among others. When conducting a primary source project, the participant should ensure that such materials possess high levels of integrity in terms of their credibility, relevancy and should be informative. Henceforth, information concerning author’s backgrounds, the main topic, cause effects, facts and opinions among others should be provided. Primary should project thus gives a summary of credibility of the sources of information. Such analyses are herein presented based on War on Poverty by Lyndon B. Johnson.
Author’s Background
The book War on Poverty was written by Lyndon B. Johnson, an American President in 1960s after the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy. He lived with his family in a state of fear due to the failure of his father who was a legislator and a businessman (Caro, 2012). However, at the time of his boyhood age, their family lived in fear of the bank taking back their house. They languished in poverty with no food within the house. The family owed great appreciation to the neighbors who often bring them covered dishes with some food in them. Thus, he constantly felt humiliation and insecurity at his boyhood ages. Therefore, Lyndon coined the phrase "war on poverty" due to his hatred of poverty and knew exactly that the cause of such poverty was a lack of education and training, lack of medical care and housing and the poor community or filthy condition where they resided. These were his real-life foes and swore to destroy them completely (Zarefsky, 2005). In order to completely destroy poverty, Lyndon Johnson had a strong interest and deep understanding of poverty and developed a political calculation to end the menace. Thus, he was determined to replace the people's despair with opportunity hence he declared unconditional war on poverty in America (Evans & Novak, 1966).
Historical Background of the Book
The War on Poverty was a state of union speech where after becoming the president of the USA, he called the congress to enact a law that elevates the progress of programs that would eliminate poverty. This policy found its background from the J.F. Kennedy campaign in early 1960 whereby President Kennedy made a promise to the American citizens on the “war against poverty and degradation” and “an economic drive on poverty” which was meant to solve problems of unemployment caused during the economic recessions of 1957 to1960 (Zarefsky, 2005). In addition, the idea was borrowed from John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society of 1958 especially chapter 23 that elaborates on “The New Position on Poverty” (Galbraith, 1998).
“War on Poverty" speech by Lyndon Johnson was addressed to the American citizens that included the members of both republicans and democrats, Americans from all wal...
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