Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Though Robert Caro’s advancing years may make him seem like a ghost writer for Plutarch, he continues to turn out the best biographies being written in the 21st century. After reading “The Power Broker” (published in 1974 about Robert Moses and land planning in New York), one becomes witness to the power of Caro’s research and dramatic skill in reporting on post-20th-century American’ movers and shakers. His next project, after “The Power Broker” became Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States.
A left-wing liberal says Obama compromises too much while a right-wing conservative says Obama does not compromise at all; neither is correct. Extreme positions are rarely correct. The life and times of Lyndon Johnson are not unlike the life and times of Barrack Obama. The concern is that President Obama, though extremely persuasive, does not have the congressional’ experience that gave Lyndon Johnson the wisdom, and a “stick”, that could make Congress act.
Robert Caro’s book, “The Passage of Power”, is a lesson in history that offers insight to governing America today.
Mountainbiker, Skier, Riverman, Dzedo
I will have to. There is only so much a reader can grasp on first reading. When you are in the hands of such a master, a replay is something to embrace. Hope there is a volume 5.
The only books to compare this to is Carl Sandburg's books on Lincoln. Caro is a national treasure and these four books are his gift to America.
Lying in bed at 2 AM with the lights out. GG's voice in the dark telling you the story of one of the most pivotal moments in American History, the assassination of an American President and LBJ's rise to the peak of political power. This is LBJ at his most admirable.
What's the presidency for?
I must say I really didn't know what to expect when delving into this monumental piece of work. However, after researching the reviews and having toured the Johnson Ranch plus living in Austin, it seemed somewhat essential to read.
Caro is the unrivaled master of weaving the minutia into a grand tapestry. He never fails to set the historical stage for each moment of Johnson's career, and that's never more important than it is in the year's covered in this book -- 1960 to 1964 -- the years he lost to John F. Kennedy in the Democratic primary, became his running mate in the 1960 general election, and then assumed power upon Kennedy's assassination in 1963. It's at that moment, the moment of the assassination, that this book truly hits its stride.
I recommend if you're randomly searching for a biography. I'm currently starting the first book in this series now.
Biography as every author ought to read. History as well as art. All of this series is essential if one wants to know what Johnson was.
Grover Gardner is simply the best narrator working today. He has brought to life all four volumes of the LBJ series by Robert Caro. No one is better.
Compelling story of America as seen through the remarkable career of that complicated
political figure, Lyndon Johnson. Given changes in publications today, we may never again see a series like this that has taken Robert Caro close to 40 years to research and write, with on final volume to come
This book provides amazing insights to the individuals and workings of our national political system in the late 1950's- 60's. It is not pretty but it is honest. The contradictions within LBJ are beyond imagination. A powerful political leader as we do not see today, but a human figure with failings as well as strengths. I am looking forward to the next book.
I must admit that I am not a great fan of Lyndon B. Johnson-especially since I place great blame on him for the Vietnam war. That being said, upon finishing this book I acquired a great deal of respect for President Johnson- especially in light of the way he handled himself during the time period that is covered in this book. The humiliation that he faced while serving as Vice President and his ability to hold up to being ostracized by the Kennedy White House inner circle during the Kennedy Administration are very well portrayed in this book- and have in part changed my opinion of him. But my greatest respect for him is reserved for the way in which he almost single handedly pushed through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
As he always does, the author does a great job in describing and analyzing all of the events from Johnson's election as Vice President to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Grover Gardner does a great job (as he almost always does) narrating the book. I am really looking forward to his next volume on Johnson's life.
This book is well worth the listen.
I read this after reading "Master of the Senate" because I was hooked on Caro's analysis of power--it's acquisition, it's manipulation, and what happens when a leader no longer has power. "Master of the Senate" was about how LBJ transformed what used to be considered a nothing job--Senate majority leader--into a bastion of power. It's a wonderful description of how--and why--he then used all of his talents at manipulating his power to pass the 1957 Civil Rights Act. In "The Passage of Power," LBJ has become JFK's vice president--a position with no power under which he chafes, until he is suddenly elevated to power by the assassination. And it gives fascinating insights into the LBJ-RFK feud. I can't wait for Caro's next volume in the series on the Vietnam War. I only wish the first two volumes of the series were available in an Audible format.
And speaking of Audible, I can't imagine a better narrator that Grover Gardner. He narrated both "Master of the Senate" and "The Passage of Power" superbly. I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to other books he's narrated. And I hope that if they do decide to record the first two books of Caro's LBJ series, that they pick Gardner to read them.
Passage of Power is one volume in the 4 volume set by Caro on LBJ. This volume focuses on the end of LBJ during the JFK administration and the the 5 years LBJ was President. The blood fude of Bobby Kennedy and LBJ comes through loud and clear as well as the plummeting approval rating he endured due to the malaise of the Vietnam War. The story of a man put out to pasture basically during his years as Vice President with little to no influence to his glory days as President. Crude and ruthless at times but he was the president who allowed African Americans their first opportunity to enter the voting booth.
LBJ is a charismatic character whether he is liked or not.
The deep hatred between Lyndon Johnson and Bobby Kennedy was shocking in its depth, intensity, and bitterness.
Several scenes at the Los Angeles Democratic convention in 1960 between then Presidential nominee John Kennedy and Johnson. Kennedy wanted Johnson whether to help carry Texas or simply to have Johnson removed as senate majority leader. Was the choice Kennedy's dad? Bobby Kennedy was appalled by the choice trying his best to removed Colonel Cornpone from the ticket.
Yes, if it were at all possible I would have.
Robert Caro has me anxiously awaiting the future LBJ vollume(s).