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Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1 | [Robert A. Caro]

Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1

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

Pulitzer Prize, Biography/Autobiography, 2003

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2002

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 1. Don't forget to listen to Master of the Senate, Volume 2 and Volume 3.

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

What the Critics Say

"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

4.6 (471 )
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4.7 (330 )
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4.7 (326 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anonymous Wheat Ridge, CO, United States 05-17-13
    Anonymous Wheat Ridge, CO, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You should listen to this..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I144 02-10-13
    I144 02-10-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Remarkably well researched and written"
    If you could sum up Master of the Senate in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, masterful, informative


    What did you like best about this story?

    Beautifully written, detailed painstaking research, enhanced my knowledge of US political system and role played by individuals. Deep insight into personalities, ambitions, motivations and human story behind major events.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    N/A


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RKonklinjr Saginaw, MI, United States 01-17-13
    RKonklinjr Saginaw, MI, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Language Arts teacher

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dull and plodding, but informative."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It seemed for too many of its early hour an extensive and dull history of the Senate, offering little mention or insight into the character of Lyndon Johnson.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The crafty political machinations of Johnson as a manipulator/legislator.


    What three words best describe Grover Gardner’s voice?

    Unimpassionately matter of fact


    Was Master of the Senate worth the listening time?

    Only the last half. The first part was a dull history of the Senate that as a preface to Johnson's time in the Senate was left unconnected.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrian Lane Cove, Australia 11-27-12
    Adrian Lane Cove, Australia 11-27-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gripping Biography of a flawed man"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The details of Johnson early political life and the way the politics was conducted in the senate


    Any additional comments?

    Would like to see the earlier volumes of this biography on Audible

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noneof Dauphin Island, AL, United States 09-22-12
    Noneof Dauphin Island, AL, United States 09-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    3
    3
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    "Superb Biography by Excellent Author"
    If you could sum up Master of the Senate in three words, what would they be?

    Brilliant. Meticulous. Deep.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Master of the Senate?

    The whole thing was a triumph.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    I guess Lyndon Johnson, but the cast of characters around him made the book truly great.


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

    It was, happily, too long for that. But every time I quit listening to it, I looked forward to returning to it. I listen to these books driving back and forth to and from work.


    Any additional comments?

    Robert Caro is so dedicated to his work. Any book by him is a treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-11-12
    06-11-12
    ratings
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    "An exciting listening experience"
    What made the experience of listening to Master of the Senate the most enjoyable?

    Robert Caro is a thorough researcher and has a lively writing style. Lyndon Johnson was a complex person and a consummate politician. How such a politician gets and uses power makes a compelling story. I cannot think of a book that gives a comparable insight into how the Senate works. Because the book is 1100 pages long one hesitates to take it on. Having it read by a fine reader made it easier, much easier. Grover Gardner has a pleasant voice and his insightful reading brings out the drama in the story. I looked forward to having Caro and Gardner's company as I put myself through my exercise paces. Sometimes I kept on walking the treadmill because the story was too engrossing to shut down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hyrum TUCSON, AZ, United States 06-06-12
    Hyrum TUCSON, AZ, United States 06-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Magnificent"
    Any additional comments?

    A detailed history not only of Senator Johnson, but of the Senate, its workings and history, as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Sellgren Bingham Farms, MI 05-15-12
    Frank Sellgren Bingham Farms, MI 05-15-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    21
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great History of the Senate"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Master of the Senate to be better than the print version?

    Did not read the print. I like listening better than reading. Can do in the car.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Master of the Senate?

    Stories of LBJ and Richard Russel. Background of how the southern senators "owned " the senate. Founding fathers intent to create a voter independent body.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Story comes alive.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Intentional Baracade


    Any additional comments?

    Get your friends to read it. If you like history, without being bored - go for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daniel 05-02-12
    daniel 05-02-12

    blues guy

    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Must-Read"

    If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, make the leap; you won't regret it. Caro is a master, plain and simple. It reads both in micro (sentences that'll make you want to read/hear/say them again, just because) and macro (big, multi-threaded narratives, effortlessly, with a great storyteller's ear). Barbara Tuchman said that great history writing should also be great writing. Folks, this is what she was talking about.

    I'm getting smarter by the chapter, and enjoying every minute of it. And I'll remember it too, because great language works that way.

    Mr. Caro, my hat is off to you.

    I'll say that I'm a little envious of Grover Gardner, who does a superb job. Getting paid to read this is a really good gig, and we sense his enjoyment throughout as he rises to the occasion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 11-18-11
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 11-18-11 Member Since 2014

    Jonnie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, typical politician"

    I had my eye on this book for a year or longer but the idea of reading about the Senate kept me away. How could the Senate be interesting? I hate politicians! Plus the cover is so bland and uninteresting. Yet, there were consistently very good reviews so I gave Volume 1 a try. I was very pleasantly surprised and could understand why the book was so highly rated. It is a very good read. After having listened to Volume 1 I purchased Volumes 2 and 3 and enjoyed them all. I believe Volume 1 was the best book of the three but I had to finish the story after having begun it. I am now more firmly entrenched in my belief that politicians are corrupt and self-serving. Johnson was even more corrupt, power hungry and self-serving than I had thought but Caro tells the story of many people and how they intertwined in LBJ's life so it is an ongoing and interesting tale of big-time politics in the forties and fifties.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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