Needless to say - a masterpiece. But this book is inexplicably broken into three purchases (well, I can think of an explanation). The first two equally long volumes were one audiobook per. I wish they would do the same for Master of the Senate.
Yes. LBJ was a huge influence on my generation in a personal way. Few presidents affect so many individual American lives on such a significant personal level. He ruined or elevated people in life changing ways. This book helps show how he became who he was and what a mystery his inner self still is.
The other Caro books.
I think buying and listening to Caro's book on Robert Moses was a pretty extreme reaction.
Anyone who is interested in recent US history and a perspective of politics today would find this useful.
Great book, so much information to gain.
The Leland Olds witch hunt is particularly memorably, though not for good reasons.
Ability to consume the entire book in a timely manner.
Leland Olds nomination fight, it turned my stomach something awful to hear how LBJ ruined a good man.
I'm really disappointed this book was not only broken into three volumes on Audible (two understandable, but three defies logic given how first two volumes were presented as one single volume), but also that the chapters aren't lined up with the chapter breaks on the recording. This was highly disappointing given how well the first two books in this series were arranged and aligned by chapter.
I have listened to all three volumes of Master of the Senate, and this review is for the whole thing. These books are terrific. Robert Caro has such a great feel for when to put in background information, and how much. It's a book about people as much as policies. I was glad another reviewer warned me about the long discourse on the history of the Senate at the beginning of the book, though, because I would have been wondering if I had the right book. But the history sets the scene, and Caro makes the history lesson extremely accessible and fascinating. Lyndon Johnson defies summarization in a paragraph, and I won't even try.No wonder Robert Caro couldn't do it in just one book. Caro gets down to the nitty-gritty of LBJ, every aspect of the man. If you are only going to read one book of Caro's, though (they're big!), I would read Passage of Power, which is the next one in the series, and is epic.
As an Aussie, I knew very little about LBJ but I had heard these Caro books were brilliant. How right that is. I particularly appreciated the depth of the background in the history and working of the US senate and Caro's portrayal of this complex and flawed man is unflinching and compelling. I highly recommend it for anyone, but for any politics tragic, it's an absolute must. Seven stars.
I'm a history buff. This book gives a masterful history of the US Senate from the before the Civil War to the years of Lyndon Johnson's work there. At first, I felt annoyed at the length of the overview, then if occurred to me that Mr. Caro was giving the history of a very dysfunctional organization. It showed how Lyndon Johnson slipped into power, using this staggering dysfunction. It was all very interesting.
There isn't really ONE moment. The book illustrates Johnson's breathtaking ruthlessness as a politician.OK, one moment. After WWII 75% of the American people wanted civil rights for blacks in the South. The source for this statistic wasn't cited in the book but there might be a bibliography in the paper book, that sites the source. 75%... and the southern democrats blocked it, wouldn't let it happen, and Lyndon Johnson was one of them. To me, he was not only ruthless, but his action was evil.
Mr. Gardner has a pleasing tenor voice. I enjoy listening to his narration.
No, I like absorbing information and stewing in it before going onto the next section. This book is very well researched.
If you like history and biography, this book is very well done and very interesting. I've had it for over a year and hadn't gotten around to listening to it. I'm sorry it took me so long.
Be careful. Audible has separated this *single* book into three "volumes" so that you must spend three credits if you want to listen to the entire thing. Had I realized this, I probably would not have purchased it.
Caro's ability to portray Power epically, systematically and with humor.
The story of a crude, morally-unchallenged person, with an equally unchallenged sense of power.
A sense of listening to a superb story teller, as I drive. I look forward to more driving in order to continue Gardner's reading of the story.
If you're prepared to pay, I'll think about it seriously.
Man it's long, but when it was over, I felt like I was losing an old friend. Good thing Passage of Power was next in the queue. :)
Caro is brilliant. He does an excellent job of weaving in specific themes without being overbearing or redundant. As soon as I get another six months to commit to a book, I plan to dig into his book on Bob Moses.
The most striking biography I've listened to/read. It presents a brilliant nuanced picture of perhaps the most brillant, contradictory politician in American history. Caro has an incredible knowledge and understanding of LBJ and his time period. He also writes grandly and beautifully.