Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight by Julia Sweig

28th Summer Lecture Series

September 28, 2021

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This lecture will now take place via Zoom on September 28 at 4pm. If you were previously registered, you should have received the Zoom link. For questions, please reach out to

“Sweig makes a persuasive case for Lady Bird’s influence not just within her marriage but on her husband’s career. In doing so, she forces us to adjust the lens through which we’ve viewed one of our most consequential presidencies. She also forces us to take a hard look at this country — at the state of our cities, the state of our environment, and the fights for civil rights and women’s rights — and to see both how far we’ve come and how very far we have to go.”   –Washington Post

Lady Bird Johnson’s complex and captivating role—as a political partner to her husband, as a vital yet underappreciated presence in the White House, and as a critical advisor and strategist—is recast in Julia Sweig’s magisterial biography, LADY BIRD JOHNSON: Hiding in Plain Sight. The story is told in Lady Bird’s own words through the largely unknown and overlooked audio diaries that she kept during her five-plus years in the White House: 123 hours of tape totaling 1,750,000 words. Lady Bird’s tapes show her to be a formidable storyteller and historian, and a conscious creator of legacy.

Sweig’s portrait of Lady Bird resonates powerfully and poignantly with the country’s current social upheavals, uncovering perhaps the most underestimated First Lady of the 20th century. And Johnson’s almost real-time, highly personal narration of key moments of American history showcases her narrative prowess and unique perspective as she brings to life both the tragedies that defined the ’60s—the JFK, MLK, and RFK assassinations and the Vietnam War—and the struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement. These tapes were hiding in plain sight at the LBJ Library, much like Lady Bird herself did at the White House.

As of August 3, we have updated our face-mask policy at The Mount. We strongly encourage vaccinated visitors to wear masks when attending outdoor events. Unvaccinated visitors must wear masks at all times. When indoors, masks are required regardless of vaccination status.

Thank you for your cooperation.

The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email,, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.

Thanks to our sponsor:

  • Ticket sales begin on June 10.
  • The lectures are held in the Kitchen Garden Tent, an open-air venue.
  • We look forward to seeing you rain or shine!
Julia Sweig
Author Website

Julia Sweig is an award-winning author of books on Cuba, Latin America, and American foreign policy. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, and the National Interest, among other outlets. Her book Inside the Cuban Revolution won the American Historical Association’s 2003 Herbert Feis Award. She served as senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations for fifteen years and concurrently led the Aspen Institute’s congressional seminar on Latin America for ten years. She holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a nonresident senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas–Austin and lives with her family outside of Washington, DC.