So who knew this?
For his inaugural… Lyndon Johnson turned to the novelist John Steinbeck, who had been an acquaintance of his wife, Lady Bird. LBJ wanted poetry, but he got the leavings of a burned-out literary genius. “LBJ had cried at the movie of Steinbeck’s book The Grapes of Wrath,” explains Beschloss. “In the inaugural address Johnson used Steinbeck phrases like ‘I do not believe the Great Society is the ordered, changeless, and sterile battalion of ants.’ It sounded nothing like LBJ.”