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
- Robert A. Caro, Means of Ascent, quoting Coke Stephenson
This was a different book from Caro's Vol. 1 of the Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power. 'The Path to Power' detailed the rise and early history of LBJ. It set the table. It showed LB ...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
This volume covers the years in between Johnson's first (failed) attempt at a Senate position and his eventual victory over Coke Stevenson to earn one in 1949. As Caro describes in the immersive introductory chapter, these were Johnson's "dark years". These were the years in which he took a backseat to politics and built up a fortune, ...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
It deals with Johnson's war service - or what passes for it - his depression as he struggles to make an impact in Congress - and then zeroes in on the 1948 election for the Senate that becomes m ...more
In each book, we also learn abo ...more
My only real criticism of the book is Caro’s hagiographic treatment of Cok ...more
It's a fascinating book. Caro seemed caught between utter contempt for Lyndon Johnson's ruthless pragmatism and an almost ...more
This one shorter than the previous two, equally exciting and fascinating though. Here the focus goes to LBJ senatorial race and his "dark years". Again I find myself amused by what Johnson is capable of doing to get power and his differences with his opponent Coke Stevenson who is the opposite of the pragmatism and ruthlessness of LBJ.
The old vs the new is a current theme in this book ...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
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
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
e watch, in this volume, the complete loss of any vestig ...more
The book covers the time between the special election of 1941 and the regular Senate election of 1948, and inclu ...more
The description of how LBJ made millions via his radio station is, as Caro says ...more
Caro has also written four biographies on Lyndo ...more