The Passage of Power


WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE, THE MARK LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE, THE AMERICAN HISTORY BOOK PRIZENAMED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Economist Time Newsweek Foreign Policy Business Week The Week The Christian Science Monitor NewsdayBy thWINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE, THE MARK LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE, THE AMERICAN HISTORY BOOK PRIZENAMED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Economist Time Newsweek Foreign Policy Business Week The Week The Christian Science Monitor NewsdayBy the two time Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Power Broker.Book Four of Robert A Caro s monumental The Years of Lyndon Johnson displays all the narrative energy and illuminating insight that led the Times of London to acclaim it as one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age A masterpiece The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career 1958 to1964 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.By 1958, as Johnson began to maneuver for the presidency, he was known as one of the most brilliant politicians of his time, the greatest Senate Leader in our history But the 1960 nomination would go to the young senator fr

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  • [PDF] The Passage of Power | by ã Robert A. Caro
    203 Robert A. Caro
The Passage of Power

  1. He s the author of The Power Broker 1974 , for which he won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize It s a biography of Robert Moses, an urban planner and leading builder of New York City President Obama said that he read the biography when he was 22 years old and that the book mesmerized him Obama said, I m sure it helped to shape how I think about politics Caro has also written four biographies on Lyndon Johnson, including The Path to Power 1982 , Means of Ascent 1990 , and Master of the Senate 2002 , and The Passage of Power 2012 , which won the National Book Critics Circle Award He s at work on a fifth and final volume about Lyndon Johnson, which he says will take him a few years still.From American Public Media

265 Reply to “The Passage of Power”

  1. Since the summer 2005, when I read the previous three volumes of Caro s majestic Years of Lyndon Johnson series, I have periodically checked the internet for updates on the final volume s release When I saw that it was available for pre order on I loudly whooped I kinda hope that bookstores do a midnight release so I can dress up like Sam Rayburn and stay up reading all night I may be crazy, but doesn t that cover look pretty sexy Yes, my name is A.J and I m am fully aware that I m a dork.

  2. Robert Caro s The Years of Lyndon Johnson might be the great historical project of our time These days, publishers seem to prefer everything to be contained in one volume Thus, even topics as grand as the Second World War get crammed into a single book But Robert Caro cannot be contained between two covers His legendary expansiveness requires the clearing of entire forests His scope and breadth and novelistic detail hearken back to Gibbon, Sandburg or Foote The Passage of Power is the fourth boo [...]

  3. No one alive at the time will ever forget where they were and how they heard that John F Kennedy had been shot I was in a grade school classroom when Sister Clemenza burst into the room, her eyes bulging with the news Nothing could take me away from the television in the days that followed, every detail etching itself from Cronkite choking back the sorrow at the official announcement to Oswald, his mouth forming an O to a young son s salute.It wasn t just ten year olds who were star struck by Al [...]

  4. It has been twelve years since the last volume was released, and thirty since the first The next should hopefully come out in two or three years, says an article Let s hope.This book covers the era from 1959 to 1964, the slim few years between Johnson s acceptance of the Vice Presidency to the beginning of 1964, just over a month after the events of 11 22 Power passes from him and to him in nearly equal spans The Senate Giveth and Kennedy Taketh Away.Johnson was a man accustomed to, and obsessed [...]

  5. President Kennedy s eloquence was designed to make men think President Johnson s hammer blows are designed to make men act Robert A Caro, The Passage of PowerOne of the most amazing aspects of this series is how consistently good the books are Each one of the four books has been different and amazing Some people might prefer Beethoven s 4th, others his 5th, others his 9th, still others his 3rd my personal favorite The fact remains, they are all brilliant So too with these books Each one was abso [...]

  6. So I started this ages ago, but I must not have been that into it at the time because I put it down in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis and didn t pick it up again for an entire year The problem I d been having was the one I d had with other books in the series, which is that while I adore Robert Caro s work and am enthralled by all his descriptions of the intricate and shocking machinations of government, I find Lyndon Baines Johnson, as a person, extraordinarily dull So for the first big [...]

  7. The description accompanying this title very accurately summarizes the contents of this volume in Robert A Caro s brilliant biography of LBJ, and so there s no point in repeating all of that here Like the earlier volumes, this is an epic work solidly researched, beautifully written, and very gripping, even though most readers will be well aware of the general history covered here In particular, the chapters surrounding the day on which John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas capture in great d [...]

  8. bestpresidentialbios 2017 The Passage of Power The Years of Lyndon Johnson is the fourth and most recently published volume in Robert Caro s series covering the life of Lyndon B Johnson Caro is a former investigative reporter and the author of two Pulitzer Prize winning biographies He is currently working on the fifth and presumably final volume in his LBJ series.Published in 2012, The Passage of Power covers roughly a half dozen years from Johnson s campaign for the 1960 Democratic presidential [...]

  9. Robert Caro began researching this series of books in 1976, the year I was born The scope and ambition of these books do than cast long shadows, they fill the sky Their success rests on several factors, including exhaustive research, but ultimately, they are so impressive primarily because their author is as good a storyteller as any novelist working today Caro is the unrivaled master of weaving the minutia into a grand tapestry He never fails to set the historical stage for each moment of John [...]

  10. In volume four we find out Johnson s great skill at Senate politics does not translate to national politics Whether due to arrogant presumptiveness, simple miscalculation or some of both, LBJ blows his chances for the 1960 presidential nomination Caro suggests fear of failure kept LBJ from announcing earlier, running in primaries and sewing up some votes that might have stopped JFK Not sure I see that since once JFK became the clear favorite after winning the West Virginia primary LBJ immediatel [...]

  11. This book, which takes Lyndon Johnson from the campaign of 1960, through his Vice Presidential years, and up to the first few months of his presidency, deserves a place among Caro s best works.There are a few things that are infuriating in this book Again and again the reader is treated to reminders that Johnson was a maniacal worker, and quotes like He didn t want to be like Daddy These are not only repeated ad nausem in this book, but were also repeated ad nausem in the three previous Johnson [...]

  12. I have read the first three books in this series and am looking forward to this one If it is anything like the first books, it should be LONG and informative about the darker side of LBJ Could anyone be as power hungry as he I will most likely purchase this book as I have purchase the first three by Caro and I collect presidential biographies.

  13. Excerpt from this book on the Kennedy assassination through Johnson s eyes appeared in this week s New Yorker could NOT put it down.

  14. The last episode of season one of House of Cards ends with Francis J Underwood FU sitting at his desk in his cabinet conspiring with the audience in the style of Richard III, and on the table there is a book lying The Passage of Power The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol IV by Robert A Caro For someone watching the show that is familiar with Lyndon Johnson s bio, the parallels between him and the protagonist in House of Cards, played by Kevin Spacey, are obvious Both FU and LBJ are savvy politicians [...]

  15. This is an intriguing and at times captivating work The author s interest in the principles of leadership which drew him to study LBJ come through, but the human drama of the shift between JFK s administration and Johnson s is such poignant material that the reader never feels lectured to or that the points of leadership are being ripped out of context.

  16. Lyndon Johnson gets older in this fourth installment of Robert Caro s epic presidential biography and so too unfortunately does the author The early chapters are masterful But Caro s story telling and analysis begins to sputter in rather worrisome ways as the book builds to its dual climax of the Kennedy assassination and Johnson s rapid command of the presidency I missed the firm command of his material that Caro showed in his earlier books The master is 76 years old now, and for all his vigor, [...]

  17. Robert Caro s Masterful Portrait of Lyndon Johnson s Early Days as PresidentThere are very few figures in history worthy of multi volume biographies, much less one that runs to five books, the first four of which alone total nearly 3,600 pages However, Robert Caro proves conclusively that his subject, President Lyndon Johnson, is fully deserving of the attention One of the towering figures of the 20th Century, Johnson s extraordinarily complex personality and the indelible imprint he left on Ame [...]

  18. Volume 4 in Caro s lengthy biography of Lyndon Johnson that I originally began, Vol 1 in 1982 This one deals with the election of 1960, and the intrigue and travails of LBJ as he attempts to wrest the nomination from John F Kennedy and fails, and then accepts the nomination for vice president in a gamble, going from the most important Democrat in the country as the greatest Senate majority leader in history to a powerless second in command Miserable as second banana, Johnson is propelled into th [...]

  19. So I started this the same day I finished Master of the Senate, figuring I d just read the introduction and mayyybe first couple of pages proper to whet my appetite for the thing over the course of the next few weeks Instead I stayed up late reading the first 400 pages and then every opportunity I got The leisurely pace of Master of the Senate is pretty much gone here we see Johnson vs Kennedy in the 1960 primary, a race through the three early years of the Kennedy administration in which Johns [...]

  20. Caro s volumes on the years of Lyndon Johnson have brought the enigmatic, misunderstood and nearly forgotten 36th president back into his rightful spot as one of the great leaders of the 20th century.The scope of this book is much narrow than the previous volumes, confining itself to LBJ s endless humiliations as John Kennedy s vice president, his sudden ascension to power through Kennedy s death and Johnson s astonishing grasp of control over the next few months.Caro constantly apologizes thro [...]

  21. Robert Caro s The Years of Lyndon Johnson is the best political biography I have ever read Johnson was a complex person, larger than life, who could be crude, ruthless, corrupt, dishonest, and selfish while also being hard working, highly intelligent, an unsurpassed wielder of political power, and a man who had a sincere desire to help the downtrodden Caro s writing brings this bundle of contradictions roaring to life.The Passage of Power is the story of Johnson s strangely inept attempt to run [...]

  22. At this point in the series, you ll have made up your mind on Lyndon B Johnson s character whether you wanted to or not Caro has been so determined to show every wart, flaw, and imperfection he has that Robert Kennedy s verdict of formidable but flawed, powerful but dangerous is the default prism you view his every action through This volume concentrates on both the lowest period of LBJ s adult life the three long, painful years as John F Kennedy s ignored and ridiculed Vice President and its hi [...]

  23. I love Caro s multi volume biography of LBJ I tore through the first three volumes last year, and I got The Passage of Power as soon as it came out He s a wonderful writer if easily parodied The chapter in The Path to Power about Hill Country women making do in a land without electricity was mind boggling, and Caro is predictably good telling the story of the JFK assassination and the minutes, hours and days immediately afterward, where LBJ assumed command Caro can switch from extreme close up t [...]

  24. This volume delves in to the years of 1960 1963 which covers the years of Johnson s vice presidency and the assassination of President Kennedy A nation in mourning and seemingly oblivious to their new president during those first days of office Those days were critical for the country Johnson was masterful at making all the right decisions for a successful succession Days that have been underrated by historians I would recommend this book highly for those who want to learn about the transition [...]

  25. A tour de force A true masterpiece I don t quite know how else to describe this book, or the epic of which it is a part What Caro accomplishes here, through the meticulous recounting of a relatively brief period in the life of Lyndon Johnson, might just be unrivaled except, perhaps, by his own account of Robert Moses If you ve read any or all of the first three volumes, you will find the same qualities in this volume that suffuse the prior ones painstaking reconstructions of some of the most cru [...]

  26. Robert Caro has done it again The Power Broker, his first, is one of my favorite books there are several chapters in that book about Robert Moses I ve read over and over again because they have the heft and depth of a small novel, like One Mile the chapter on the building of the Cross Bronx Expressway, and the story of Alfred E Smith, the first Catholic to run for president of the United States In Passage of Power, the same novelistic depth is given to the ferocious and mutual hatred of Lyndon J [...]

  27. I read all 3 previous volumes of this series just two years ago, and was avidly awaiting this new installment I can only imagine the angst with which those who read Master of the Senate in 2002 had been waiting for it.Caro does it again in terms of his inimitable gift for historical research, narrative, and psychoanalysis, although I m not sure why it took his customary ten years with this one as it seems to me the amount of boots on the ground research should have been greatly less than with th [...]

  28. One of the best I ve ever read This volume the 4th in what was originally planned as a three volume work covers the years 1958 1963 It focuses on Johnson, of course, but it gets into the LBJ RFK feud better than any other book I ve read and goes into great detail on how LBJ contributed to Kennedy s victory in 1960.More than this, Caro is a talented writer He had the ability to bring historical characters to life and to set the scene so eloquently that I felt I was actually in the room with them [...]

  29. Robert Caro is writing far than the biography of Lyndon B Johnson He is also writing a treatise on power and powerful men This is volume 4 of the series and concerns the years 1956 to 1964 We follow LBJ as he tries to acheive his goal of being the presidential nominee, as he is humiliated as Vice President, and as he adroitly takes over the presidency upon JFK s assasination But we also learn how JFK defeated death on numerous occassions and manages to win the 1960 Democratic nomination for Pre [...]

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