Amanda's Reviews > The Passage of Power

The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
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's review
Jun 11, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, biography-memoir
Read in June, 2012

This book was worth the ten year wait. It was the story of a man broken by the loss of power that came with the Vice Presidency who was reborn with the ring of an assassin's bullet. I must admit that I'm a bit biased toward this book as it's one of my favorite periods of American history, so I was somewhat pre-disposed to fall in love. But what I didn't expect was the heart-wrenching touches of LBJ writing personal notes to Caroline and John Jr, the amazingly detailed description of what was happened in the hospital hallways before JFK was declared dead and the complete command LBJ took of the government and his Administration while everyone else was in mourning and watching the funeral processions on TV.

The descriptions of the funeral events were astounding - Caroline reaching her hand below the flag to touch her father's coffin made me a bit teary - and the fact that LBJ kept everything together and his mind so focused in the midst of such agony is remarkable.

His speech to the Joint Session of Congress after the funeral to soothe what was the nation's open wound was inspirational and perfect for the setting. For all of his warts in political life, LBJ stepped into the fray in a way that I think no one really expected him to be able to. His State of the Union speech was another masterful stroke and to see him so swiftly guide legislation to cement Kennedy's and his own legacy was another page-turner.

This book was exceptionally written, engaging and informative. I think this may stand as my favorite of the series.


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