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Ryan Holiday (Founder / Brass Check)
I read my first Robert Caro book, The Power Broker, almost ten years ago. Reading this one--his most recent--on the ascension of Lyndon Johnson reminded me just how much I LOVE really long books (I even ended up writing an article about them). As always, Robert Caro is a master of his craft. Despite being some 768 pages, this book flies by and you learn something about history, about human nature, about power on almost every page. I'll be moving on to one of his other Lyndon Johnson books next.
The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and most triumphant period of his career—1958 to 1964. An unparalleled account of the battle between Johnson and John Kennedy for the 1960 presidential nomination, of the machinations behind Kennedy's decision to offer Johnson the vice presidency, and of Johnson’s powerlessness and humiliation in that role. With the superlative skills of a master storyteller, Caro exposes the savage animosity between Johnson and Robert Kennedy, portraying one of America’s great political feuds.
In Caro's description of the Kennedy assassination, which The New York Times called the most riveting ever, we see the events of November 22, 1963, for the first time through Lyndon Johnson’s eyes. And we watch as his political genius enables him to grasp the reins of the presidency with total command, and, within weeks, make it wholly his own, surmounting unprecedented obstacles in order to fulfill the highest purpose of the office. It is an epic story, displaying all the narrative energy and illuminating insight that led the Times of London to acclaim The Years of Lyndon Johnson as “one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age.”
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