Mark Feltskog's Reviews > Master of the Senate

Master of the Senate by Robert A. Caro
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Feb 17, 12

really liked it
Read from January 20 to February 17, 2012

When this book was published, Robert Caro made the rounds on the more cerebral talk shows in electronic media, and I heard him talk about this book on Charlie Rose among other places. I don't remember if he said that he would write a fourth volume on Lyndon Johnson's presidency. In spite of some weariness (I've read all three volumes of this biography in the past year) with the subject, I hope Mr. Caro does apply his magisterial research and writing skills to those years of Lyndon Johnson's career.
I rate this book four stars--for it certainly, objectively rates five--for highly subjective reasons: this is more a book about the United States Senate and the byzantine manner with which in functions (or doesn't), and the gravamen of this book is that body's manifold attempts in the late 1950s to pass civil rights legislation. Because Lyndon Johnson is widely regarded as a leader on civil rights, Mr. Caro writes and analyzes how Senator Lyndon Johnson bent the Senate to his considerable will and, quietly but effectively, scuttled one civil rights bill after another.
Much of the analysis of the functions of the Senate works to show just how Lyndon Johnson was able to do this; I understand the purpose of all this--to maintain the high standard of scholarly disinterest, and therefore integrity, that Robert Caro sets for himself. Nonetheless, I found much of the narrative on the Senate itself exhausting and repetitious, and therefore give this book a highly subjective four star rating.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Gil (new)

Gil Roth I'll never catch up!


Mark Feltskog Is there a volume in the offing recounting his presidential years?


message 3: by Gil (new)

Gil Roth Book 4 was gonna cover the whole VP and P era, but it looks like they're splitting it into 4 & 5. I believe 4 is coming out this year.


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