The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 624
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
becomes more trusting and accepting of what they say. Given the evidence that
Hugh Davis Graham has gathered about Robert Kennedy's bullying of Johnson
during the vice-presidential period or the comments of Harlem Democrat Ray-
mond Jones on Robert Kennedy's political ruthlessness, more analytic detach-
ment would have made for a better balanced account. Johnson's comments
about John F. Kennedy and assassination plots against Fidel Castro were taste-
less; perhaps they "insulted" Kennedy's memory (p. 251). That does not mean
that they were inaccurate. Johnson knew of the dark side of Kennedy's presiden-
cy. It is not necessary to go as far as Thomas Reeves has to recognize that
Henggeler is kinder to John Kennedy than is warranted.
Taking his cue from Robert Caro and Richard Goodwin, Henggeler ventures
into the treacherous jungle of assessing Johnson's psychological state of mind
during the presidency. The effort produces some amusing sentences, such as the
following: "The fact that he [Johnson] achieved marked legislative success does
not in itself mean that he was mentally stable" (p. 153). The comparisons be-
tween the allegedly cultured John Kennedy and the vulgar Johnson are also
somewhat forced. Neither man knew much about art or music, though Kennedy
faked interest more adroitly than Johnson did.
This study is a very promising first book, and it makes a solid contribution to
the political history of the Johnson-Kennedy years.
University of Texas at Austin LEWIs L. GOULD
Consequences: A Personal and Political Memoir. By John G. Tower (Boston: Little,
Brown and Co., 1991. Pp. x+388. Acknowledgments, introduction, black-
and-white photographs, illustration, epilogue, sources, index. $22.95.)
Shortly after the Senate refused to confirm his nomination as secretary of de-
fense, the late John Tower correctly noted that the repudiation would dominate
memory of his public career: "I will be recorded as the first cabinet nominee in
the history of the Republic to be rejected in the first 90 days of a Presidency and
perhaps be judged harshly" (p. 358). He indirectly contributes to this historio-
graphical imbalance with his memoirs.
As the title implies, this account is Tower's version of the confirmation strug-
gle. Throughout this work he labors to show the hypocrisy and unfairness at
work against his confirmation. His efforts at rehabilitating his reputation are
convincing. His detached, objective tone is one of the book's greatest strengths.
Most of his analysis and judgments are supported by ample evidence.
This work, however, does not lack emotion. Tower's feelings bubble to the sur-
face when he discusses both those who supported him during this trial and those
who worked against his nomination. He expresses a deep sense of pride when he
discusses his family and past and present staff members. He expresses gratitude
toward George Bush and the Democrats in the Senate who voted for him.
Such lofty sentiments are rare, however, when Tower turns to his opponents.
Sam Nunn. chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is a thin-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/694/ocr/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.