This is the fourth and latest volume in Robert Caro's multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson. This volume deals with the Vice Presidency of Lyndon Johnson and a great deal of the book deals with the events immediately preceding and immediately following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It has always been a matter of great interest to me about how it was that Lyndon Johnson could move from the politically powerless position of Vice President to becoming the one of our great presidents so smoothly. His mind immediately understood what the President required of him. The Secret Service got the new President to the airport and one to Air Force One. They insisted that the new President not leave the plane for any reason. They feared the assassination may be part of a plot to overthrow the government. Nonetheless, Lyndon Johnson realized that the American public needed to see the new President and see the government continuing after the tragic events of the assassination. Accordingly, after boarding Air force One in Dallas after the assassination, he immediately comprehended that he needed to take the oath of office before the plane left the ground.
Furthermore, he knew the small ceremony on the would be photographed and he wanted Jacqueline Kennedy to be a part of the ceremony to provide the sense of the continuation of the government. Accordingly, he waited in the plane until Jacquiline arrived at the airport with John Kennedy's body before taking the oath. Additionally, he perceived that conservatives in Texas would more likely provide support for him in the presidency if he were have the oath administered by a judge from Texas. Accordingly, he requested that Judge Sara Hughes be brought to the plane to administer the oath of office. This is how the pictures of the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson, with which we all are now familiar, first came about. This book provides the whole story, including the the actions behind the scenes, of these historic events