This Short Documentary Lets You Listen to Lyndon B. Johnson’s Phone Calls

Anna Green

Lyndon Baines Johnson, who served as president of the United States from 1963 through 1969, was famously outspoken. Known for his verbal acuity and often-crude sense of humor, LBJ would seek out political opponents and subject them to a “treatment” of rapid-fire jokes, accusations, veiled threats, and cajolery. By all accounts, talking to Johnson was an entertaining, albeit overwhelming, experience.

Now, Johnson’s idiosyncratic verbal stylings are on full display in the short documentary You Can’t Always Get What You Want from Aeon Video. To make the film, director Scott Calonico pored through hundreds of hours of Johnson's phone conversations to find audio clips that gave a sense of the eccentric 36th president's personality. In the short film, drawn from the 630 hours of phone calls secretly recorded by Johnson (and now publicly available on the LBJ Presidential Library website), Johnson touches on everything from race relations to Diet Jello and his problems with stress eating. It's a fascinating and humorous look into the life of LBJ. Check it out above.

[h/t: Aeon]

Header image via Aeon Video, Vimeo