The Passage to Power is a fascinating review of a period of history that most Americans, of a certain age, remember vividly. It is a history of Johnson and the Kennedys at their best and at their worst.
There have been MANY book written about this period and MANY books written about the Kennedys and about Lyndon Johnson this book does it as well as any I have read.
I have an excruciatingly long commute. Listening to books is about all that has kept me from falling into the abyss. History and bios only
Very well written, factual and deeply engaging history. Made me long for the endless traffic jams and lost hours of my commute just so I could get back into the drama.
Say something about yourself!
I would recommend reading the first 3 volumes of LBJ's senate years and then The Passage of Power. This volume describes his transition from the most powerful man in the Senate to the powerless Vice President of JFK.
This is one of the better books about an American president. At times it tends to drag because the author goes into so much detail, but I had trouble putting it down, even though I was not a Johnson fan.
LBJ. Now I appreciate his trials and tribulations.
Johnson's actions after the assassination of Kennedy were amazingly crafted.
The same as the book title.
Robert Caro continues his artfully told and absorbing account of Lyndon Johnson. It doesn't get any better.
Insightful, empathic, riveting account of one of this country's most critical periods. Meticulously researched, yet never bogs down, each detail richly informing character and the turn of history. LBJ's finest moments retold, and the narrator is simply outstanding.
The passage of the Civil Rights bil.
The emphasis is always right, he never flags in giving details, yet it is nuanced and passionate.
Cried at times.
Robert Caro is a genius.
Although this installment of Caro's multi-volume series on LBJ ostensibly covers only the years 1958-early 1964, the author does a tremendous job exploring this period and presents a rich, engaging portrayal of a significant transition in the life of a politician. One drawback of an audible presentation of nonfiction is the reader's inability to peruse the footnotes or examine sources. There are, at least, several helpful references to other volumes of Caro's work where certain themes (e.g. LBJ's relationship to Sam Rayburn) have been explored in greater depth so one can explore the cross references in earlier installments. Passage to Power also makes several promises of issues to be addressed more fully in the final, forthcoming volume which I eagerly await. Although I have not read the earlier volumes in this series (but now plan to do so) this book has a stand alone quality. There's enough here---the rivalry between LBJ, Bobby Kennedy, and the other Kennedy men; the 1960 presidential campaign; Johnson's frustration with the powerlessness of the vice presidency; the ongoing or emerging issues surrounding civil rights, early phases of Vietnam, Cold War politics, etc--- to make for a satisfying, self-contained volume. Even the familiar events surrounding the Kennedy assassination are presented with a fresh, balanced perspective: one gets a sense of how this traumatic event must have seemed from LBJ's vantage point. Grover Gardner's narration is pitch perfect, much like the narration for an excellent, absorbing documentary, and kept me engaged from start to finish. Really a top notch effort all the way around.
Say something about yourself! I am a runner and avid listener to books. Audible allow me to do my two favorite things at the same time.
Grover Gardner provided an intimate narration of Robert Caro's book The Passage of Power. I knew little of the transition from Kennedy to Johnson and the truly remarkable job Johnson did with it. In fact it seemed almost too smooth. It seems obvious if it were not for Johnson's consummate knowledge of the how to pass legislation and how to work people to his advantage, the civil right's legislation of 1964 and 1965 would never have made it through with Kennedy.
This was a book I could not put down and it made me want to read the preceding books on Johnson and the next one to come.
You will be surprised and will perhaps wonder how Johnson managed all he did that first year. It is a bit eerie too thinking about the possibilities of conspiracy. None which seem to amount to anything.
The power of this work is in the detail, if you are looking for an overview of LBJ's life in the Senate, as VP, and as President this is not it. The book goes through each decision and the way it was arrived at with a precision that few historical writers would ever dare to attempt. Consider this, The Raise and Fall of the Third Reich is 1245 pages, it covers roughly 30 years of history and countless persons. The Passage of Power is 736 pages, it covers the years 1958 to 1964, and is basically about one man. His path to the Vice Presidency is riveting, especially the hatred he and Bobby Kennedy felt towards one another. The author really shines when he covers LBJ's immediate transformation from impetent Vice President to President in total command.
Most surprising to this reviewer was President Johnsons immediate understanding of his duties, the situation he was faced with, and his calm and commanding reaction to the circumstances. One cannot leave this work without an appreciation of LBJ's steady leadership and how he sheparded this nation through one of its darkest times.
The book is 700-plus pages. I find it easier to listen to longer books than read them. It may be because the earplugs mask out other distractions. Regrdless this is an excellent book. I read the first in the series as well. Caro is very detail oriented and paints pictures along the way to keep your interest from waning.
Obviously, the others in his series on President Johnson.
Great performer. Even when discussing "dry" subjects he made them interesting.
The one thing this book made me do was drive around the block once or twice on many occasions when listening in the car - waiting for a break in the narrative which made sense.
Great book. Great reader/performer. Unbelievably interesting, no mater what your political leanings.