The First Lady Bird

"Cynical sophisticates find it hard to believe, but Lady Bird's life is totally dominated by a genuine devotion to her role as Lyndon Johnson's mate. She is the traditional countrywoman, the wife who by her very nature tunes all her labor and all her love to harmonize with the ambitions of her husband. In the tradition of Southern plantation patriarchies, Lyndon Johnson is head of the family—period. And as he himself admits, 'I'm not the easiest man to live with.' He strongly influences her tastes —in clothes, coiffure and makeup. He has been known to swat Lady Bird so hard on the behind that her feet nearly leave the floor. Sometimes, when after-dinner drinks have flowed for a while, he launches into a few bawdy stories, fires out cuss words like buckshot. But Lady Bird sits by serenely, smiling faintly or gazing out a window."

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