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The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4


The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4 Cover

ISBN13: 9780679405078
ISBN10: 0679405070
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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sonsetsuko, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by sonsetsuko)
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kathyb, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by kathyb)
The wait was worth it. Caro focuses on the brief period of time from Kennedy's assassination to Johnson's first State of the Union, teaching us that great progress hinges upon recognizing and seizing the opportunity to make a more perfect union, which may come along only once in a generation. Knowing what happened next in Johnson's presidency, this book provides a compelling argument in support of nuanced, continuing re-examination of our history and our leaders. One finishes this volume wishing that Caro had time and interest to author the definitive biography of Nixon!
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julie metzger, January 8, 2013 (view all comments by julie metzger)
Reads as if you are standing in the room at some of the most remarkable moments in American history. Insightful, revealing, thought-provoking, brilliant.
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Corvallis Reader, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Corvallis Reader)
A thorough and VERY readable account of a critical three years of U.S. history. And who knew how much we owe to LBJ for such things as Medicare and the 1964 Civil Rights Act??!!
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mbuckingham63, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by mbuckingham63)
A monumental biography in the truest sense: years of tireless research, a magisterial culmination of detail, a sweeping portrait of a life. Robert A. Caro is a national treasure.
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Product Details

The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4
Caro, Robert A.
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Publication Date:
9.57 x 6.72 x 2.25 in 2.76 lb

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The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4 Used Hardcover
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Product details 736 pages Knopf - English 9780679405078 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Caro's Pulitzer-winning multivolume biography reaches a magisterial climax (though not its Vietnam era denouement) in this riveting account of Johnson's vice-presidency in the Kennedy administration and early presidency through 1964. It's a roller-coaster narrative as Johnson plummets from the powerful Senate majority leader post to vice-presidential irrelevance, hated and humiliated by the Kennedy brothers, then surges to presidential authority with the crack of Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle and forces a revolutionary civil rights act through a recalcitrant Congress. Caro's penetrating study of competing power modes pits Kennedyesque charisma against Johnson's brilliant parliamentary street-fighting, backroom arm-twisting, and canny manipulation of personal motives, all made vivid by rich profiles: JFK, the polished, amused aristocrat; Bobby, the brutal, guilt-haunted zealot; Johnson, the uncouth neurotic — egomaniacal, insecure, sycophantic as an underling, sadistic as a boss, ruthless and corrupt yet possessed of an empathy for the downtrodden (he picked cotton in his penniless youth) that outshines Camelot's noblesse oblige. The author's Shakespearean view of power — all court intrigue, pageantry, and warring psychological drives — barely acknowledges the social movements that made possible Johnson's legislative triumphs. But Caro's ugly, tormented, heroic Johnson makes an apt embodiment of an America struggling toward epochal change, one with a fascinating resonance in our era of gridlocked government and paralyzed leadership. Photos. 300,000 announced first printing. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow and Nesbit." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "The fourth volume of one of the most anticipated English-language biographies of the past 30 years....A compelling narrative...that will thrill those who care about American politics, the foundations of power, or both....Before beginning the Johnson biography, Caro published a life of Robert Moses, The Power Broker (1974), a book many scholars consider a watershed in contemporary biography. The Johnson project deserves equal praise."
"Review" by , "A major event in biography, history, even publishing itself...Caro has once more combined prodigious research and a literary gift to mount a stage for his Shakespearean figures: LBJ, JFK, and LBJ's nemesis Robert F. Kennedy."
"Review" by , "Brilliant....Riveting reading from beginning to end....The real tour de force in this stunning mix of political and psychological analysis comes in the account of the transition between administrations, from November 23, 1963 to January 8, 1964....An utterly fascinating character study, brimming with delicious insider stories....Political wonks, of course, will dive into this book with unbridled passion, but its focus on a larger-than-life, flawed but fascinating individual — the kind of character who drives epic fiction — should extend its reach much, much further. Unquestionably, one of the truly big books of the year."
"Synopsis" by , A publishing event: the fourth volume in Robert Caro's monumental biography, The Years of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the best-selling and prize-winning The Path to Power, Means of Ascent, and Master of the Senate.

The Passage of Power follows Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career. It tells the story of his volatile relationship with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy during the fight they waged for the 1960 Democratic nomination for president and through Johnson's unhappy vice presidency. It gives us for the first time the story of the assassination from the viewpoint of Lyndon Johnson himself. And with the depth of insight, the profound grasp of both the life and times of his subject that Robert Caro has consistently brought to this mesmerizing biography, it reveals what it was like to suddenly become president in a time of great crisis — an assumption of presidential power unprecedented in American history; how he stepped, unprepared, into the presidency and within weeks forced through Congress bills on the budget and civil rights that it had determined to let die; how through his singular political genius he set out to make the presidency his own, and to fulfill the highest purpose of the office. It is Johnson's finest hour, before his aspirations and his accomplishments were overshadowed and eroded by the trap of Vietnam.

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