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The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Caro begins with Johnson at the height of his success in the Senate. Still only in his second term, he had taken the weak position of Senate Majority Leader and turned it into the second most powerful office in national politics, thanks largely to his enormous personal and legislative abilities. But Johnson had his eye on an even larger prize: the presidency itself, an office he had aspired to for decades and which in 1960 seemed to many to be his for the taking. Yet Johnson hesitated to commit himself to the race, fearing the humiliation of a defeat. This created an opening that John F. Kennedy eagerly exploited. With his brother Robert collecting commitments in the west - a region critical to Johnson's chances - Kennedy outmaneuvered the Texas senator and won the nomination, demonstrating just how completely Johnson had misjudged his opponent.
Yet for Johnson a new opportunity presented itself when Kennedy offered him the vice presidential nomination during the convention.Read more ›
Either way, you are in for a real treat. Many readers agree that writing doesn't get any better than this, and the proof is that Caro's writings have stood the test of time, and his reputation has simply gotten bigger. This is 605 pages (736 with footnotes) of detailed writing that any student of that period will cherish. The first half of the book, over 300 pages is dedicated to the last two Senate years, and the Vice Presidential years when LBJ lived the most down in the valley depressing type experience. He was ignored by the President, and castigated by young Robert Kennedy. Between the two of them Johnson's power had been castrated, and he was boxed into a small office. In a city where power was everything, Johnson now had none.
This is especially interesting in light of the heights from which he the former Senate Majority leader had fallen. Johnson as leader was considered the most powerful man in the Congress, with the White House held by the popular Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. Ike could get nothing done in the Democratic Congress without LBJ's help.Read more ›
If you have never read Robert Caro before, take a few minutes and read the introduction to this book on your computer. Certainly many people, especially those who have no personal memory of the years covered in this book, might wonder why a slice of only a few years in the life of a not especially beloved President is worth reading. The answer is first that few US politician were as complex and bigger-than-life than LBJ. And most importantly, LBJ was, from a young age, possessed by a need for power and with a startling ability to work hard and concentrate on what he wanted, became a master of how to obtain power, Power. In doing so LBJ pushed himself further and further in and up the United States political power structure, improbably ending as President after the assassination of Kennedy. The fact that a poor, ill-educated, physically unattractive politician with a heavy Southern accent could attain the presidency says much about both the US and about LBJ.
Caro has captured that time in US culture and politics, and his subject, LBJ, with astute observations, particularly about power.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read the three earlier volumes in this biographical series, and this, the fourth, is right up there with the best of them. Caro writes beautiful prose. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by WSH
Stellar. Robert Caro is a first- rate writer and historian, offering remarkable insight into this intriguing president, from his milestone achievements to his complex personality. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Printemps28
Compelling narrative of Johnson's rise from marginalized vice president to a president whose legislative achievements were astounding. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Robert Renwick
USA missed a great chance to lead the world in defining civil rights and democracy. The character ofLBJ failed him, and failed the nation.Published 12 days ago by jershang lin
The conclusion to one of the most valuable sources of US history during the early 60's ever written. Simply wonderful. People will read this book forever. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JB Vick