The Passage of Power
The Passage of Power The Years of Lyndon Johnson By Caro, Robert A. Book - 2012

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.

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