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James

Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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10

  • Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years in the U.S. Senate. At the heart of the book is its unprecedented revelation of how legislative power works in America, how the Senate works, and how Johnson, in his ascent to the presidency, mastered the Senate as no political leader before him had ever done. "There is something uniquely mesmerizing about the wily, combative Lyndon Johnson as portrayed by Caro," says Publishers Weekly.

    Shelly says: "Abridgement bad"
    "Good, but abridged version off"
    Overall

    I first read two long excerpts from this book in the New Yorker that captured the essence of LBJ, and in particular, the way he played Humbert Humphrey to serve his ends. This was missing in the audio version. Also, most critical, was the passage where LBJ, who arguably did more to advance civil rights than anyone else including Martin Luther King, asks his long-time black chauffeur if he minds being called by a nickname instead of his real name. When the chauffeur answers "yes" LBJ unleashes a stinging racist tirade on the man. That one scene captured the contradiction that was LBJ, yet is omitted from the audio book. But there were passages included that were mostly nits about vote counts etc. So an A for the book, a C for the abridged version.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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