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Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 2 | [Robert A. Caro]

Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 2

Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.
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Publisher's Summary

Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history and how he used his incomparable legislative genius, cajoling and threatening both Northern liberals and Southern conservatives, to pass the first Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction. Brilliantly weaving rich detail into a gripping narrative, Caro gives us both a galvanizing portrait of Johnson himself and a definitive and revelatory study of the workings of legislative power.

This is Volume 2. Have you listened to Master of the Senate, Volume 1 yet? And don't forget Volume 3.

©2002 Robert A. Caro, Inc.; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, Biography or Autobiography, 2003

"Mesmerizing....A tale rife with drama and hypnotic in the telling." (Newsweek)
"A panoramic study....Combining the best techniques of investigative reporting with majestic storytelling ability, Caro has created a vivid, revelatory institutional history as well as a rich hologram of Johnson's character." (The New York Times)
"Caro must be America's greatest living Presidential biographer....No other contemporary biographer offers such a complex picture of the forces driving an American politician, or populates his work with such vividly drawn secondary characters." (BusinessWeek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (360 )
5 star
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4.9 (253 )
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4.8 (252 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David Chicago, IL, United States 03-28-14
    David Chicago, IL, United States 03-28-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An off-read for one of the best!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes - Two reasons: 1) Most obviously, you can't listen to volume 3 without volume 2 and after volume 1, you can't help but to want more and more of this.


    How could the performance have been better?

    There were so many repeats that at least once every 20 minutes it happened. There were other very odd starts and stops and perhaps part of a chapter missing. All in all, I don't know that I think it is that big of a deal - however, Grover Gardner is such an incredible narrator and commands such incredible admiration for his narration, the constant repeats and breaks are all the more shocking. Seems as though Vol. II was rushed in order that Volume 3 could be released. I will note that in Vol I and III Gardner was and then returned to his near flawless command of the story. However, Vol. II is the worst recording (in terms of repeats and cut-offs) I've ever listened to of the nearly 50 audio books over the past two years.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Watson 09-10-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprising editing mistakes mar a great book."

    Caro's insight, depth, and prose style -- combined with the narrator's performance -- make for a fascinating book.

    Many audio books include an editing error or even two: typically a repeated sentence. This book, astonishingly, includes EIGHT OR NINE such repetitions. It should be reedited to reflect the quality of the author and narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George K. 05-02-14
    George K. 05-02-14

    Riverrunner, Powderhound, Pizzaiolo, Mountainbiker, Fisherman, Dzedo to James

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Master of the Senate in 3 Audible Acts"
    If you could sum up Master of the Senate in three words, what would they be?

    Tour de force!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The history of the U.S. Senate that opens this volume.


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I have listened to another GG narration. But GG was a great choice for this vast undertaking. He's there for the duration and never gets in the way. A real pro.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I think it would be the story of Leland Olds.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 11-18-13
    Doug Glenwood, IA, United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great but repeats"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book, with rich historical detail. I love how Caro sets the right context by offering numerous historical sketches in which to set the moments of Johnson's life. Gardner's reading is superb, warmly bringing the subject to life. However, this wonderful book and presentation are marred by the audio recording in which, on a regular basis (sometimes once a chapter), sentences are repeated. Overall, an excellent product!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joseph TULLY, NY, United States 08-06-12
    joseph TULLY, NY, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2012

    GraphZi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "gripping story of the workings of the US Senate"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    gives the most exhaustive treatment to both the career of Lyndon Johnson, the workings of the senate and the ascendancy of the united states in the striving for equality


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lyndon Jophnson because he hit his full stride as a politician, statesman and person


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the details of the voting rights act amendments


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no it needs
    s to be savored over time


    Any additional comments?

    it is a shame that this book has to be sold in three seperate volumes by audible. it is an exhaustive and very long book, which is understandable but Audible should come up with packaging it more econimically

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Nagel 08-28-10
    Chris Nagel 08-28-10 Member Since 2014
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    "An excellent clear history"

    This history is worth reading / listening to for all who are fascinated by the personal effort and thought that goes into the best politics. Well written, well researched.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jack annapolis, MD, United States 05-18-14
    jack annapolis, MD, United States 05-18-14 Member Since 2009
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    "America's finest historian"

    Robert Caro may be the finest historian of all time. He is methodical , meticulous and brutally honest. If you want to know what Lyndon ate for breakfast, his medical issues, how he dressed, what he thought of his secretary. Every detail is there. He does avoid sexual issues and only alludes to affairs, However he does describe his sexual organ.
    Master of the senate covers the years from 1948 to 1960 in 3 separate books. From a rookie to the greatest senator of all time. The Leader. Every bill and amendment passed by the house and Senate were under his control. How he could bend powerful men, Senators, to his will. The culmination of the books is the passage of the 1957 Voting rights act. A monumental, although flawed achievement which took all his guile and machinations to pass and presaged the more important 1964 voting rights act, which he also sponsored.
    These books document his slow transition from a conservative Southern senator from Texas who aligned himself with the Southern caucus to perhaps the greatest legislative champion of Civli rights in our history. Mr Johnson was a deeply troubled and flawed man, paralyzed at times by his fear of failure and his fathers failure. But also capable of the noblest sentiments and deeds and inspiring others to do noble and great things. Mr. Caro describes him as the greatest reader of men. In just a few minutes he could tell what another man thought, his fears, his weakness and his price and to use this knowledge to bend men to his will. there are detailed portraits of Lady Bird, Sam Rayburn and Richard Russell. The leather 2 were towering complex figures who mentored him and supported him. There are also portraits of Hubert Humphrey, Paul Douglas Bobby Baker, John Connally, Dwight Eisenhower and other major figures of the time.
    A detailed description of Martin Luther King is also here. Finally, there is a foreshadowing of his relationship with Jack and Bobby Kennedy, which becomes the major emphasis of his next book. Mr. Caro, himself, is very liberal and he lets you know what he thinks. Mr. Caro is also a genius,inspiration and perspiration melded together. I loved this books and the author. Grover gardner is an excellent narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Smith 05-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story and good narration with glitches"

    Repeated sentences are annoying, but the book is a very good read. Repeated sentences are annoying, but the book is a very good read. Repeated sentences are annoying, but the book is a very good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. J. Koch 05-21-15
    J. J. Koch 05-21-15 Member Since 2012

    There can be only one.

    ratings
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    "It might as well be fiction."

    Only murder would make it better than House of Cards. Caro is such a great storyteller, I look forward to the next volumes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patience 05-04-15
    Patience 05-04-15 Member Since 2010
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    25
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    "Brilliant!"

    Caro writes beautifully and evocatively--giving us portraits of important actors in Johnson's story, as well as a chilling picture of the demons and talents that drove Johnson to become the consummate politician he was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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