The Passage of Power

The Passage of Power

The Years of Lyndon Johnson

Book - 2012
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Pulitizer Prize biographer Robert A. Caro follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career, describing Johnson's volatile relationship with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy during the fight they waged for the 1960 Democratic nomination for president, through Johnson's unhappy vice presidency, his assumption to the presidency after Kennedy's assassination, his victories over the budget and civil rights, and the eroding trap of Vietnam.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, c2012
Description: xix, 712 p. [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780679405078
Branch Call Number: 973.923092 Joh


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May 02, 2019

Excellent history .

The selection of LBJ as VP by JFK ,
LBJ becoming President replacing JFK, ,
his masterful winning over of civil rights all impessively told .

The LBJ vs Bobby Kennedy rivalry explained.

Aug 31, 2015

After taking a hiatus of a few months from Caro's LBJ series, I finally returned to read the most current book, Passage of Power. If I could give half stars, I'd give it a 3.5. The part about the assassination and LBJ's reaction to it are masterful: I learned a lot I hadn't know before, and the writing was so engrossing, I had a hard time turning off my Kindle. The discussion about the feud between LBJ and RFK was also well done: both men come off looking like playground whiners. What disappointed me was the description about how the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was passed. While LBJ's grand strategy was pretty well explained, the drama leading up to the actual passage through the Senate is missing. It's as if Caro had a book deadline to meet and decided to skip over this critical part of American history. And there's very little mention of the Voting Rights Act, or Medicare, etc. Maybe that's in the upcoming book, but I was left with the impression that that book will deal primarily with what ultimately brought LBJ down--Vietnam. We'll see if those society-changing acts will be discussed more fully in that volume. In any event, given the incredible detail that Caro typically has given us, I thought that this book didn't do justice to one of the two the most important pieces of civil rights legislation to be enacted since the Civil War.

christiefox Jan 27, 2013

What a masterful book! This is a long, worthwhile read into a fairly short period of Johnson's life. I wasn't that interested in LBJ before I read this, but now I can't wait for the next volume.

Jun 30, 2012

I loved reading this book, found it engrossing, and couldn't wait to pick it back up again every time I had to detach over the course of the couple weeks it took me to read it. But I have to say, Caro could use a good copyeditor. The redundancies can be distracting, and his careful work deserves better. The book is (otherwise) very well designed, and fun to hold and turn through, even given how heavy it is (somehow its heft is a feature of the design).

More of my thoughts on this book, here:

mikeyppl Mar 01, 2012

Caro is in his seventies. I hope that we don't have to wait another ten years for the volumn on his presidency.

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