Kansas City Star Reviewer Loves Robert Caro’s New Book on LBJ
This is going to be how almost everyone who writes a review of The Passage of Power will view the book by Robert Caro.
With past as prologue–and who did not love Caro’s work in the past LBJ volumes–comes these words from the Kansas City Star.
Maybe I’m showing my age. Maybe I’m showing the effects of too many years covering politicians.
But these days, I’m deep into the fourth volume of an ongoing series of books on the 36th president, a man who died back in 1973.
The really scary thing: I’m relishing every minute of it.
These are enduring books that will be read for generations — not only because Johnson was such a scoundrel, but also because the books focus on power: how Johnson acquired it (he rose to become the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate just four years after arriving in the chamber), how he wielded it, and how he suffered when he lost it during his wilderness years as vice president under John F. Kennedy.
LBJ was, as Caro writes, a reader of men.
“Read eyes,” he would tell young staff members. “No matter what a man is saying to you, it’s not as important as what you can read in his eyes.”
Magisterial. Foundational. Groundbreaking. Pick your adjective for Caro’s Lyndon Johnson.
For now, I’ll go with another one: simply amazing.