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The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson | [Robert A. Caro]

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle Award, Biography, 2013

The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career - 1958 to 1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark.

For the first time, we see the Kennedy assassination through Lyndon Johnson’s eyes. We watch Johnson step into the presidency, inheriting a staff fiercely loyal to his slain predecessor; a Congress determined to retain its power over the executive branch; and a nation in shock and mourning. We see how within weeks - grasping the reins of the presidency with supreme mastery - he propels through Congress essential legislation that at the time of Kennedy’s death seemed hopelessly logjammed and seizes on a dormant Kennedy program to create the revolutionary War on Poverty.

Caro makes clear how the political genius with which Johnson had ruled the Senate now enabled him to make the presidency wholly his own. This was without doubt Johnson’s finest hour, before his aspirations and accomplishments were overshadowed and eroded by the trap of Vietnam.

It is an epic story told with a depth of detail possible only through the peerless research that forms the foundation of Robert Caro’s work, confirming Nicholas von Hoffman’s verdict that “Caro has changed the art of political biography.”

©2012 Robert A. Caro (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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4.5 (742 )
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  •  
    History Reader MISSOURI CITY, TX, United States 09-25-12
    History Reader MISSOURI CITY, TX, United States 09-25-12

    High school American history teacher from Texas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The greatest presidential book series continues"
    What made the experience of listening to The Passage of Power the most enjoyable?

    I'm not sure if the audio really enhanced the experience, but the smooth writing style and great stories made this a pleasure from start to finish.


    What other book might you compare The Passage of Power to and why?

    JFK: An Unfinished Life by Robert Dallek. That's another great Presidential biography covering roughly the same time period.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Being true to Caro's intent in his writing.


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

    No. It's too long for that.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-25-12
    09-25-12 Member Since 2004
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    "great history lesson"
    What did you love best about The Passage of Power?

    learning about that period of our history


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lyndon because it was about him


    Which scene was your favorite?

    after the shooting


    Any additional comments?

    Great review of that period of our history

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion mount Kisco, NY, United States 09-24-12
    Marion mount Kisco, NY, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    Story
    "Historical Story LBJ Middle Years......."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would have edited it more and tightened up the chain of events..


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Passage of Power?

    The hostility of the Kennedy's with LBJ..


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

    No


    Was The Passage of Power worth the listening time?

    Yes, but only if you were young and didn't know any of this history..


    Any additional comments?

    It is excellently written, with perfect grammar... In this day, that
    is an accomplishment in and of itself...

    Almost every book I have listened to are filled with mispronunciations.
    I am always wondering what the authors think of it..Don't they ever
    listen to their, "Book On Tape?"

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Cooper Bakersfield, CA 09-23-12
    Marc Cooper Bakersfield, CA 09-23-12 Listener Since 2006

    mcoope3

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great biography by a great author!"
    What did you love best about The Passage of Power?

    Its masterful storytelling of the time in history it covers.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How LBJ responded to the challenge of suddenly assuming power and needing to build a legislative record in so little time.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerry Keisling 09-17-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Fascinating"

    Robert Caro has done a masterful job of researching and documenting LBJ's life and you hear it with the feeling that it all is absolutely true. This is the man, warts and all -- lots of warts. There is much to dislike about LBJ but he was remarkably capable and could accomplish almost any task, and did.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey Valencia, CA, United States 05-19-12
    Casey Valencia, CA, United States 05-19-12 Member Since 2003

    Hi! I'm Casey Keller, semi-retired TV writer, avid cyclist, husband and father. I'm also a guy who devours audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can We Buy Mr. Gardner A Dictionary?"

    If you know anything about current books, you know that this book is brilliant and well worth your time. It's one of most important books of the year. The New York Times rave review was written by Bill Clinton.

    But something must be said about Grover Gardner's mastery of the English language. It's missing. It's not that he's a bad reader. In fact he would be pretty good if it weren't for one thing... The man is constantly, annoyingly and distractingly mispronouncing words.

    Mr. Gardner needs a producer or a director... someone who can tell him to take a moment and check the pronunciation of the words he's reading.

    A quick search of Audible reveals Mr. Gardner's name on 285 titles. That's thousands of hours of recordings. Perhaps he's too busy recording books to check pronunciations. Perhaps Audible has kept him so busy that he hasn't slept in 12 years and can't concentrate. Perhaps he records books in his sleep.

    My point is not to attack Mr. Gardner, but rather that a brilliant and important book... a publishing event if you will, like The Passage Of Power deserves a lot more care taken with its audio version. We would certainly not be pleased with this book if it were filled with mis-spellings and typographical errors. Grover Gardner's mispronunciations are the audible equivalent.

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy BOISE, ID, United States 05-15-12
    Roy BOISE, ID, United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2011

    Roy-in-Boise

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A dash of tarnish on Camalot"

    LBJ like all Presidents had an ego. He also had self discipline and endured quite a bit of mishandling by the JFK administration. Politics being what it is most of learn at some point to be careful how we treat people and who's toes we step on as one day those toes may be connected to someone we work for.

    As much press as JFK has gotten through history it was LBJ in the end that really pushed the whole Civil Rights advances through Congress and changed history. One thing this story makes very clear is that RFK was a definite antagonists.

    For people reading this who lived through these times there is a fine line where current events become history. Robert Caro's book makes the transition and is a testament to the times. Five Stars!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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