Faustian Bargains

Faustian Bargains

Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas

eBook - 2016
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Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace crossed paths only briefly; but Wallace's life, especially one violent episode and its intricate aftermath, illuminates the dark side of our 36th president. Perhaps no president has a more ambiguous reputation than LBJ. A brilliant tactician, he maneuvered colleagues and turned bills into law better than anyone. But he was trailed by a legacy of underhanded dealings, from his "stolen+? Senate election in 1948 to kickbacks he artfully concealed from deals engineered with Texas wheeler-dealer Billie Sol Estes and defense contractors like his longtime supporter Brown & Root. On the verge of investigation, Johnson was reprieved when he became president upon JFK's assassination. Among the remaining mysteries has been LBJ's relationship to Mac Wallace who, in 1951, shot a Texas man having an affair with LBJ's loose-cannon sister Josefa, also Wallace's lover. When arrested, Wallace cooly said "I work for Johnson...I need to get back to Washington." Charged with murder, he was overnight defended by LBJ's powerful lawyer John Cofer, and though convicted, amazingly received a suspended sentence. He then got high-security clearance from LBJ friend and defense contractor D.H. Byrd, which the Office of Naval Intelligence tried to revoke for 11 years without success. Using crucial Life magazine and Naval Intelligence files and the unredacted FBI files on Mac Wallace, never before utilized by others, investigative writer Joan Mellen skillfully connects these two disparate Texas lives and lends stark credence to the dark side of Lyndon Johnson that has largely gone unsubstantiated.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016
ISBN: 9781620408070
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Feb 19, 2019

This book is such a mish-mash of poor reasoning, poor or non-existent sourcing, and poor writing that it is little wonder that it has been largely ignored by serious, critical scholars of Johnson and the era of his presidency. Mellen was a professor of English and Creative Writing with no apparent formal training in history. Don't get me wrong, lay historians can and do write solid, valuable historical works but Mellen's "Faustian Bargains" is a better example of creative writing than it is of sound historical methods and careful conclusions. And, no, I am no fan or defender of LBJ.

Sep 14, 2016

10-star to 20-starred review!
Prof. Mellen delivers in her usual stickler-for-verifiable-evidence, giving us the real man behind the facade.
Her presentation of the concrete and impossible-to-argue facts on pp. 207 -- 214 covering the false flag operation resulting in loss of lives aboard the USS Liberty clearly proves Lyndon Johnson and Adm. John McCain [daddy of Sen. John McCain] to be war criminals under Articles 99 and 118 of the UCMJ [also complicit were Cyrus Vance, Richard Helms of the CIA, and possibly NSA director, Marshall Carter - - brother of LBJ advisor, Clifford Carter, recommended for his previous job by Nelson Rockefeller {deputy director of the CIA when President Kennedy was assassinated}, and Carter's son would be the chairman of State Street, one of the Big Four investment firms.] First I was aware that a Medal of Honor had been awarded then, but to the wrong person, naturally!
The professor does leave us with a puzzle at the end, but no problems, Mr. Harrison was just one of many misled by all the disinformation pumped out there [in the final chapter] but he certainly got the number of shooters correct [IMHO: Lucien Conein, Jean Souetre, Moise Maschkivitzan and Lazlo the Hungarian].

[And let us never forget two important facts about LBJ: he signed the amendment to the Bank Act, allowing American banks to purchase foreign banks, a necessity in the formation of an international banking cartel; and, during his administration the tax on speculation - - the financial transaction tax - - was ended, which had been in effect since 1914.]


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