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The Political History of American Food AidAn Uneasy Benevolence$
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Barry Riley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190228873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190228873.001.0001

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Lyndon Johnson’s Food Aid Battles

Lyndon Johnson’s Food Aid Battles

Chapter:
(p.226) 12 Lyndon Johnson’s Food Aid Battles
Source:
The Political History of American Food Aid
Author(s):

Barry Riley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190228873.003.0013

Johnson made food aid a major element of his foreign relations with several countries. He saw it as a tool, an inducement, a reward or a cudgel. As a product of Senate leadership, he knew how important the role of Congress was in approving and funding his many initiatives, and he sought to ensure that he was not viewed as a “dewy-eyed, give-away boy.” He had to be seen as a tough guy even though he was, at heart, quite a benevolent person. Critics of food aid were suggesting that it could do more harm than good when used outside narrowly defined situations requiring emergency relief. Johnson paid them little heed. He fought with Congress over control of food aid, losing several battle and winning others. His liberal stance on domestic human rights issues lost him votes among conservatives in Congress on his desired food aid reforms.

Keywords:   Theodore Schultz, disincentives, Lyndon Johnson, Orville Freeman, Food for Freedom, food aid, India, war on hunger, CARE, CCC inventories

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