Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Book Learning #89 The years of Lyndon Johnson. The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
This was a book that I had waited over ten years for.
I had read 90% of the previous volume over the past five.
I had waited an additional year for the paperback version to appear.
Worth every minute of every day.
For the LBJ junkie, Caro is the absolute fix.
Every sentence is crafted, the sources are varied and deep and, considering the passing of time, often very recent and able to take account of recent developments.
I just loved the retelling of Johnson's fumbling of the 1960 nomination and the subsequent offer of the Vice Presidency. Caro then took us through the key events of the Kennedy administration and LBJ's role (or lack of) in them. The events in Dallas in 1963 read like a tragic crime thriller.
What was particularly fascinating was the way Caro handled Johnson's handling of the transition. The Kennedy family, the House, Senate and the legislative programme inherited from his slain predecessor.
Some of my favourite bits were the human glimpses into LBJ, I pissed myself when reading about the LBJ express and his attempts to control the loud music.
I can't wait for the next chapter in this history.