Expected this to be the final book, I'm surprised it only lasts until 1964. So I assume that we'll get a 5th book. When's it due out? Hopefully Caro has been putting things together as he must be getting a bit geezeredly.
He's said he wants to live a year in Vietnam before he's finished with the final volume. I think this splittng of the series into a fourth-fifth book is a publisher's decision. I only hope Caro lives through the completion of #5. What a saga....his CSPAN interviews with Brian Lamb are most revealing about the timeline and his progress. Recommended viewing.
He's two to three years from the final book and, should he live long enough, will distill the five volumes down to a single one - sort of a Reader's Digest version of the 4500+ page effort. See him on CSPAN's Q&A in two parts, Sunday May 6 and Sunday May 20, 2012, for Brian Lamb's most current interview.
Bill Moyers has absolutely nothing too say or do with these books. Even though they have offices in the same building Moyers won't even speak to Caro let alone be interviewed for the book. Methinks we should talk to that clown Robert Morrow, who needs to hijack every discussion and spew wacknoid thoughts, what he thinks. Now to the point of when. Caro said most of the time involved was the research and that is done. He says 2 years for the last (he hopes) volume. so let's hope no more than 3.
Unfortunately, Caro has not been accurate in predicting the future of his own project. Originally it was going to be only three volumes covering the entire life of LBJ. Now we are obviously looking at five, if he finishes, and perhaps even six (if he has a separate volume for LBJ's retirement years). In his C-SPAN interview in April, Caro himself makes a joke of how much bigger this project continues to become, asking Brian Lamb "would you believe me?" when asked when the next volume will come out. He did not give a date, although he indicated that he has done most of the research yet has only begun his writing.
In 2002, upon the release of Master Of The Senate, Caro stated that the final volume would cover the entire LBJ presidency and take only about three years because, he said, almost all of his research had been completed. Yet, now ten years later, we get a volume which only begins LBJ's presidency. The Passage Of Power certainly covers less than half of LBJ's significance to the 1960's and less than a fourth of his presidency. Seems to me that volume 5 will be harder work than this.
On one hand, we have to admire all the detail as well as Caro's thoroughness. On the other hand, his own predictions have not been accurate. Plus, of course, he is now approaching the age of 77. It is hardly guaranteed that he can even complete his project, much less maintain his previous pace (which has been slow enough). Hate to be a wet blanket guys, but that really seems like the situation to me.
My prediction? Look for volume 5 no earlier than 2018, but 2020 or even 2022 seems more likely.
Fenway I hear you although I'm hoping it won't be as bad as you suggest mortality being the human condition. One of my great reading regrets is Manchester not being able to finish his multi volume on Chuchill ( did you know Chuchill was in on JFK's death along with LBJ )
Nicholas, I also hope it won't be such a long wait. Yet, I hoped ten years ago and was astounded that it took so long, and that Caro made the decision to extend the project to five books. In other words, in 2002 he said he would complete his project in three or four years, but in fact took ten years to make it half way to completion.
I really liked the previous three books, and consider Master Of The Senate to be his most insightful because I did not know how effective LBJ was as Majority Leader. The first two volumes are interesting but those years were not as history making. This volume, Passage Of Power, despite the detail, has been very well documented by so many others. It is a well known period of LBJ's career and seems like this book breaks little new ground. In fact, I wonder if Caro took so long because he was having such a difficult time finding new ground to break. It cannot be satisfying to write about well documented events.
Anyhow, I really am disappointed that Caro actually accomplished so little in the past ten years and am annoyed at having to wait even three or four more years. Nonetheless, I do hope that he completely finishes. He did look in excellent health during his C-SPAN interview with Brian Lamb.
To find a house in Vietnam and actually LIVE there is not so easy for one in the prime of life. His dedication is admirable and when he misses as much as he has in the new volume that is very open to view (Madeleine Brown's book TEXAS IN THE MORNING has to be dealt with by more than silence!), I can only wonder if he will feel able to write more of hard truth away from this country. ONLY IF the fifth volume picks up the dropped stitches of the PASSAGE book, will it be worth the wait... America needs courageous biographers, not hagiographers.
There's a great piece in Esquire on Caro's writing process, as well as the piece in the NY Times magazine a month or so ago. Apparently, he's a pretty quick writer - it's just he he edits, re-writes and then re-edits over and over and over.
"Whatever else Caro can be accused of, he is NOT a hagiographer."
Hagiography is exactly what Caro is doing in book #4: portraying the untrustworthy and despicable Johnson as some sort of innocent victim of Kennedy humiliations, then blossoming from a worm into a butterfly to save the day with civil rights (which he blocked for years) and a slew of social programs for the the poor.
Caro conveniently leaves out the role of LBJ and military intelligence murdering Kennedy. Basically Caro is attempting a backdoor rehabilitation of serial murderer (Johnson). And as I have said in my posted review on Amazon, I am not the first person to call Lyndon Baines Johnson a murderer. Texas Gov. Allan Shivers did it to LBJ's ugly face - accusing LBJ of the prison murder of Sam Smithwick in the mid 1950's. In reality there were many, many more than just that one.
Hey Robert P. Morrow: I checked out your Education (sic) Forum. You and your pal Ralph/Fetzer keep getting locked out, don't you. When tinhat whack jobs consider you a whack job, Robert P., that's NOT a good sign.
The JFK Groupies at Education Forum can't handle it when I post what a compromised man-whore John Kennedy was. Post this and see how you fare over there:
Voltaire: "David Letterman said about Mitt Romney that leaving his dog on the roof of a car for a 12 hour drive was all he needed to know about the man to judge him. JFK: going on vacation to the Med with George Smathers and Teddy and a selection of bimbos while Jackie was in the last stages of her pregnancy, then having to be told by Smathers to cut his holiday short when she gave birth to their first child, a stillborn daughter - that's all I need to know about JFK. Even if your marriage is one of convenience and you aren't particularly fond of your wife - that's still moral slug territory for me."
When will next book on LBJ come out? I think this book took 10 or so yrs to write, and Caro is not a young man. I certainly HOPE he can finish the bio......It is SO good, not dry history at all, and worth reading .........I'd say go back and read all the earlier ones while hoping Caro can finish this!
William Manchester just finished the last book on his wonderful bio of Winston Churchill, which most people thought would never happen....so, hopefully Caro, like Manchester, can stay with it and finish it all.
To Fenway Forever----I don't know how any writer can accurately predict how long any book will take to be finished. One of my favorite sci fi/fantasy writers, C.J. Cherryh, thought her popular "Kif" series would be at most a trilogy....now its up to 5 or 6 books. In one forward, early on, she mentioned that publishers "like tren trilogies" but then went far beyond that!
to Chris P.-----very sad and depressing if you really don't know....if you are being sarcastic, well, still sad & depressing. "Greatest man of the 20th century" by many peoples' view, including mine.....go back and read the forward to Manchesteter's first Churchill book: it gives a good overall picture of his role during WWII. (Wait : what was WWII????)
Morrow, As usual you do not understand the meaning of the word "hagiography" which means the biography of a saint. Caro knows that LBJ is not a saint, was not a saint ever. Heck, everybody knows LBJ was not a saint! PASSAGE OF POWER may portray LBJ more sympathetically than before, but it absolutely does not portray him as a saint; or anything close to it. Caro even titled his final chapter "Long Enough" -- which are also the last two words of the book -- and means (if you failed to read that chapter) that LBJ kept his dark side in check "long enough" for seven weeks following JFKs assassination. I know that you disagree with that, Morrow, but Caro is making it clear that LBJ still had a dark side, that he was not a saint. Thus the book is not hagiography, even if it is not the hatchet job you hoped for.
It is easy to predict that the dark LBJ will return for the final volume. Vietnam was not the war of a saint. You won't be accusing that book of hagiography.
gilly8, I truly understand that writers cannot accurately predict the time to write a book. BUT that is the question that started this thread, and I was simply trying to put it in context. Still, I admit to being tired of waiting for Caro to finish The Years Of Lyndon Johnson.
By the way, Chris P. appears to have been pointing out that Nicholas twice misspelled Churchill as "Chuchill" (without the "r"). Neither ignorance nor sarcasm, but poking fun at Nicholas (not very witty, however).
Because John Kennedy was a compromised man-whore, under the pressures of LBJ and Rayburn, he melted like a chocolate bar in the hot sun and put Johnson on the 1960 Demo ticket, against his better judgement. JFK knew he had a man with absolutely no loyalty to him or his political problem. By fall, 1963, RFK was well on the way of correcting this "problem."
Evelyn Lincoln, JFK's secretary, reports that Johnson, with J. Edgar Hoover's dark help, got on the 1960 Democratic ticket by using BLACKMAIL on the Kennedys:
"During the 1960 campaign, according to Mrs. Lincoln, Kennedy discovered how vulnerable his womanizing had made him. Sexual blackmail, she said, had long been part of Lyndon Johnson's modus operandi-abetted by Edgar. "J. Edgar Hoover," Lincoln said, "gave Johnson the information about various congressmen and senators so that Johnson could go to X senator and say, `How about this little deal you have with this woman?' and so forth. That's how he kept them in line. He used his IOUs with them as what he hoped was his road to the presidency. He had this trivia to use, because he had Hoover in his corner. And he thought that the members of Congress would go out there and put him over at the Convention. But then Kennedy beat him at the Convention. And well, after that Hoover and Johnson and their group were able to push Johnson on Kennedy."LBJ," said Lincoln, "had been using all the information Hoover could find on Kennedy-during the campaign, even before the Convention. And Hoover was in on the pressure on Kennedy at the Convention." (Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential, p. 272).
I tend to agree with most of the things you say but, here, I have to take exception. You're judging JFK from your own middle-class values. In the context of JFK's own social circles, chipping was more socially acceptable... even encouraged. Moreover, chipping is not something you can claim to be universally socially unacceptable, like murder. I've seen other American subcultures where chipping is also a socially acceptable endeavour. I'll put it this way... I doubt JFK thought of himself as a moral slug. In fact, we all know that in most areas of his life, he actually held the high moral ground.