Michael Gillette

This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.

Michael  Gillette at the 2012  Texas Book Festival

Lady Bird Johnson: An Oral History is a candid and intimate account of one of the most beloved first ladies, told in her own words. Over 18 years, Michael Gillette and his colleagues recorded 47 interviews with Lady Bird Johnson. These conversations, released by the LiBJ Library in 2011, form a compelling portrait of a native Texan, wife, mother, activist, and First Lady. She was an “island of peace” to her husband throughout his presidency and yet was simultaneously unafraid to stand up to him when she disagreed. Her environmental efforts allowed her to make a name for herself in her own right. The sections on Lady Bird Johnson’s time as a UT student and as a writer for The Daily Texan will be of particular interest to Austinites. More than an insider account of Washington or reminiscences of a childhood, this book is a revelatory narrative of a woman’s personal growth. In his introduction, Gillette remarks that “the history she witnessed, the lives she shared, and the opportunities she embraced were essential factors” in this growth. Michael L. Gillette directed the LBJ Library’s Oral History Program from 1976 to 1991. He later served as director of the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives and is currently the executive director of Humanities Texas. He is also the author of Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History, featured at the 2010 Festival, and lives in Austin.