THE DEMOCRATIC Party just lost the South for the rest of my lifetime, and maybe yours,” President Lyndon B. Johnson tells a Vice President Hubert Humphrey ebullient about civil rights gains. “What the f–k are you so happy about?”
Such was the style of LBJ, the profane, bullying, politically calculating 36th president of the United States. In an earlier time of congressional gridlock, Johnson — by turns charming and tyrannical, jovial and autocratic — practiced an in-your-face style of politics that frustrated and terrified adversaries and allies alike in the year after the Kennedy assassination.
HBO’s “All the Way” revisits the civil rights era that defined the Johnson White House, but this is no quick ride in the wayback machine. Then as now, the nation was culturally and racially divided; police use of force had often-fatal consequences for African Americans; voter registration efforts were under attack; the country was at a crossroads in the run-up to a pivotal election. The production, which premieres on May 21, suggests the inescapable parallels between America of the turbulent ’60s and America today.
Read the full review at TheWrap. "All the Way" airs on HBO through June 15.
Image credits: 'All the Way' promo shot: © 2016 HBO.