There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Like most lit-geeks, I learned all I know of Lyndon Baines Johnson from David Foster Wallace’s brilliant short story, “Lyndon,” in which he depicts the 36th president of the United States as a nose-picking, farting Texas senator with a nasal inhalant addiction. Foster Wallace’s LBJ loves both his wife, the coiffed, praline-eating Lady Birda force behind a great man if there ever was oneand the twentysomething homosexual mail clerk who works in the Johnson office. Foster Wallace’s LBJ is a paradox, a “genius and a gorilla at the same time.” That sums up the manor so I thought. Now, political historian Robert Dallek has written the second volume of his LBJ biography, Flawed Giant: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1961-1973, and it’s like he’s talking about a whole different guy! What’s all this about Vietnam and foreign policy? The Great Society programs? Huh? Dallek dishes the “real” LBJ dirt at noon at the National Archives, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 501-5000; and at 6 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Gina Vivinetto)