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Preview — Means of Ascent by Robert A. Caro
Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson #2)
Here we have Johnson's service in the Second World War and the foundation of his long-concealed fortunes- as well as the facts behind ...more
This was the time between his first failed senate run, during a special election, and his second, successful senate run, which culminated in the famed "87 votes that changed America." During these 7 years ...more
“Means of Ascent” covers seven years of Johnson’s life, comprising his brief (and greatly aggrandized) career in the Navy in World War II and the beginnings of his considerable fortune through ownersh ...more
I loved the first volume of Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power. I’d ever read a better biography. I’ve still never read a better one but I’ve now read one that’s just as good.
This book really succeeds because it’s essentially four stories in one book.
Chapters 1–5 are the story of Johnson’s later years in Congress and what he did during World War II. (Johnson spent most of the war avoid danger and then flew into danger, literally, at the last minute in order to have some...more
I had been thinking about this question because it’s one that Caro himself discusses in The Means of Ascent’s final pages. Caro writes, “From the first time I thought of becoming a biographer, I never conceived of my biographies as merely telling the lives of famous men but rather as a me ...more
My only real criticism of the book is Caro’s hagiographic treatment of Cok ...more
Spoiler Alert: This book is not for the politically squeamish nor the faint of heart.
This is the fourth biography I have read about LBJ. It is also the second of four (a promised fifth still to come) focused on LBJ's life by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author, Robert Caro. Like all of LBJ's biographers, Caro must come to grip with the man's insatiable need to be in control - unlike the other biographers I have read ...more
The description of how LBJ made millions via his radio station is, as Caro says ...more
Power. The one word that motivated Lyndon Baines Johnson. When he finally secured any measure of power he used it to the furthest extent he could--and then a bit beyond that.
This is the second volume in Caro's magnificent biography of Johnson and focuses on the years 1941 to 1948. Johnson was "in the war" for only a short period of time, but he m ...more
Having just read the first book, I found multiple passages that seemed to be repeated almost verbatim. Caro loves to give the backstory to everything, and if I hadn't just read the first one, this might not have stuck out as much. Caro tends to remind re ...more
Caro explains exactly why he came to regard Stevenson's chara ...more
Volume two is about half the length and begins with LBJ at a crossroads in his political career. He loses his first campaign for U.S. Senate, sees his career briefly interrupted by service in the Second World War, and then culminates with his theft of the 1948 Senate race agai ...more
This volume (#2) details LBJ's theft an election to gain power as Senator in 1948. It is uttterly fascinating.
Johnson's great gifts to the country are Civil Rights laws and part of the War on Poverty. However he destroyed the credibility of the Presidency, dragged us through the horror of Viet Nam, a ...more
While it's shorter, it's also more accessible than the first volume, since it covers a short period but one with very high drama: the 1948 senate election, which started as two competing schools of campaigning and ends as a courtr ...more
This book was a depressing book. Much of the book looks at how Johnson won his 1948 Senate race. As someone who is instinctively pro-Johnson's achievements, his behaviour in the race can, at best, be described as distasteful, and certainly left me ...more
Caro has also written four biographies on Lyndo ...more