Customer Reviews for

The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

The is an excellent biography about a fascinating man. Caro imme

The is an excellent biography about a fascinating man. Caro immerses the reader in a gripping story of an important time in American history. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in politics, history, society, or personalities. It is certainly worth taking ...
The is an excellent biography about a fascinating man. Caro immerses the reader in a gripping story of an important time in American history. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in politics, history, society, or personalities. It is certainly worth taking the time to enjoy this wonderful book.

posted by Anonymous on May 7, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Dazzling but misses too much

In Caro's first three books, I found exactly ONE SENTENCE to quibble with. In the new one, it is like there's an 18 1/2 minute gap.

Caro tells us Johnson went to Texas a full WEEK ahead of JFK in November of that awful year, then gives us not ONE WORD what he did un...
In Caro's first three books, I found exactly ONE SENTENCE to quibble with. In the new one, it is like there's an 18 1/2 minute gap.

Caro tells us Johnson went to Texas a full WEEK ahead of JFK in November of that awful year, then gives us not ONE WORD what he did until six days later. But we learn that at the ranch, two trips are made to Austin to buy new hand towels for Mrs. Kennedy, the first terry cloth, and then, when it is discovered by a means Caro doesn't tell that Mrs. K does not prefer terry cloth, a SECOND trip for smooth ones. A servant is trained, he writes, to POUR CHAMPAGNE OVER ICE, as that is how Jackie likes hers. But we do not see what Lyndon does?

Though his rationale for giving a full book that includes the 1960 campaign, the vice presidential period and ends seven weeks into the new presidency is his interest in being more than a biographer, showing how power is wielded in America, he does not include Billy Sol Estes or Henry Marshall (an Agriculture Dept. agent "suicided" in 1961--by FIVE SHOTS from a bolt action rifle--who was investigating Estes criminal activities), or even Clint Murchison in the book?

Caro uncharacteristically uses many pages of excerpts of Jackie Kennedy's words from William Manchester's Death of a President, but omits not just TALKING TO HER (we can understand that he might not want to put her through that agony), but listing even to her oral histories?

I had expected Caro from the time I read his first book, The Path to Power, to examine the involvement of the 36th president in the death of his predecessor, a story told in many credible books, including Madeleine Brown's Texas in the Morning (1997) and Barr McClellan's Blood, Money and Power (2003). At the least such evidence as is brought forth in those needs to be refuted, NOT IGNORED.

We can learn much by reading all that Caro includes, and more, alas, by what he leaves unlooked at.

posted by 1CW on May 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Very well written and interesting. I particularly like it becau

    Very well written and interesting. I particularly like it because I am old enough to have lived during Johnson's political career.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    This is a review of this book, not the person or crazy theories

    If you are interested in fascinating political biography, you will love this book. I dont often write reviews but had to do so after reading these. This book is excellent and my only regret is that i will have to wait so long for the next one. He was a flawed man but brilliant politically.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    It took me awhile to get into the rhythm and enjoy the narrative

    Lyndon Johnsonis associated in my mind – and many others’ – with the escalation of the war in Vietnam. So, why would I read this fourth in the series by Robert Caro? Because he’s interesting ... and because Robert Caro is a writer able to include tons of detail without boring readers to tears. Caro has a writing style that takes some getting accustomed to. He writes long, dense, complex sentences and intersperses them with sentence fragments. It took me awhile to get into the rhythm and enjoy the narrative. I remember, like most Americans who were reasonably grown up at the time, the assassination of JFK. And the admiration we had for LBJ, who took the reins and guided the country through those devastating days. That was the most interesting part of the book for me. I also learned a lot from the portraits of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert – and about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Caro paints the picture of LBJ as a man of contradictions – a bully at times and, like most bullies, insecure at his core. He could keep his emotions under control, but only for a time. He knew the legislative processes better than anyone and was shepherded the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through a hostile Congress – something JFK would probably not have been able to accomplish. The Passage of Power at first did not make me want to run out and buy the three earlier books in the series, but I have since read two others and am bracing myself for the third.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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