Craig's Reviews > The Passage of Power

The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
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's review
May 10, 2012

it was amazing
Read in June, 2012

One of the best I've ever read. This volume (the 4th in what was originally planned as a three volume work!) covers the years 1958 - 1963. It focuses on Johnson, of course, but it gets into the LBJ-RFK feud better than any other book I've read and goes into great detail on how LBJ contributed to Kennedy's victory in 1960.

More than this, Caro is a talented writer. He had the ability to bring historical characters to life and to set the scene so eloquently that I felt I was actually in the room with them listening to their conversations.

I'm only through Part I of this book and I can't wait to get back to it. I love it.

As I continue to read this book my admiration for it simply grows. It is full of detail and in the hands of a less skilled writer could easily be overwhelmed by that detail. Caro handles it wonderfully, however, and makes it fascinating to absorb. His discussion of the seemingly-impossible situation which confronted LBJ on assuming the presidency and the masterful way he responded to the challenge is outstanding. But, this is LBJ warts and all, and Caro does not overlook his penchant for secrecy and pettiness.

I continue to be awed by this work.

Finally finished this book. I've read some negative comments about Caro taking too long to explain his subject, and that he breaks little "new" ground. These reactions are not without merit but what I most enjoyed about this well-written work is the level of detail that Caro provides. For me, he does a great deal to "humanize" LBJ, warts and all, and I got a sense of what it was like to be in the White House as he assumed and consolidated his power.

I do recommend this book!
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Nathaniel Forgive if a certain presumption is necessary at this late , highly corporate, stage of "democracy". I think this book is bad, and has been favorably reviewed because it is so safe. Here is a dissenting view. I intend only to provoke democratic yaking, which is so difficult in today's completely corporate world, where all disagreement about what really matters is niched until the body politic is a corpse

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