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Title:From Kennedy to Nixon: American Political Mythology
Author(s):Bradley, Richard Mark
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Frederic Jaher
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The work discusses myths--particularly myths of royalty--as they expressed themselves in American society under Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Examining not only the nature of myth and legend, but their impact on politics, culture and society, the work is divided into three main parts. The first part examines Kennedy's assassination and the myths that grew from that event, paying close attention not only to the myths themselves, but also to how and why they were formed. It is shown that, after his death, Kennedy was perceived as the good king of Camelot who had died for his people. The second section examines the myth of the evil king that sprang up around Lyndon Johnson. It is shown that a major factor in the genesis of this myth was Johnson's reaction to Kennedy's death. In particular, Johnson's investigation of Kennedy's assassination gave birth to a culture of conspiracy in America. The last section shows how the myth of the evil king, in many ways only nascent under Johnson, came to fruition under Richard Nixon. The work ends with an examination of the lasting legacies of these myths in politics, culture and society.
Issue Date:1997
Description:338 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9812539
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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