David Wrubel's Reviews > The Passage of Power

The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
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's review
Jun 12, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in May, 2012

Originally a four volume biography and history of Lyndon Johnson and his era, there will now be a fifth and final book. Caro is the greatest historian of our time...this volume, "The Passage of Power" is, in my opinion, the best one thus far. It combines Johnson's fall from power - from Senate Majority Leader to JFK's underutilized, disrespected, often humiliated Vice President - with his brilliant grasp of the Presidential leadership necessary for America and the rest of the world immediately after the assassination. Among many other important accomplishments, LBJ single handedly engineered the quick passage of legislation that had been stalled in Congress under Kennedy. The most important of these was the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

LBJ was a complex, insecure, brilliant, egotistical, coarse individual. He was the greatest legislator and politician of his era, and probably since. But he was exactly the right person to lead the country through the trauma of a President assassinated virtually on television. Full of intrigue, exceptional descriptions of his relationship with Bobby Kennedy, and meticulously researched, this book portrays LBJ during his finest hours. The next book, focusing on Viet Nam, is going to show him in a lesser light.

Probably the best political biography I've ever read.

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