1: The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson I

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Top Notch - Delicious biography full of flavor. Caro tells how LBJ was molded by his neo-frontier upbringing in the parched soil of the Texas hill country. Most important in the rise of LBJ was his service as Congressman Kleberg's chief staff aid. As Kleberg's right hand man, Johnson was a ruthless and dynamic tyrant in running Kleberg's staff. He badgered staff mercilessly and regularly whipped them and himself into working grinding 14-18 hour days. This method of getting the job done right was successful but just a little bit inhumane. It would be the Johnson way until his 1968 retirement. Unfortunately, the LBJ way of treating staff would be adopted by scores and hundreds of political types since Johnson's time- imitation is often the most sincere form of flattery. As a former staffer of TV political maestro John McLaughlin, I know the LBJ way is alive and well (in fact, I read Caro's book during my seven month sentence with Dr. McLaughlin). Count modern political staff operations as...
The Zenith of Biographical Writing - Thank God for Robert Caro, who is a brilliant researcher, complier of facts and an outstanding writer. His way with words is leagues ahead of other historical biographers, he writes with the flair of a novelist but he backs up his words with years of dilligent research. What other biographer pulls up stakes and lives for *five years* in the Texas hill country in order to better understand his subject? This first volume stands at the pinnacle of the biographical art.Many have criticized Caro (John Connelly most vociferously) for being overly critical of Johnson. I share this concern and feel he sometimes bends over backwards to "stick it to" Johnson. Caro has said repeatedly that he will deal with LBJ's Presidency with a more charitible outlook and this is to be hoped.I am an unabashed fan of Lyndon Johnson and this will stand as the definitive biography of him for many years. Though it's caustic and critical, it's so beautifully written you can read...
Great Book ! - One of the best biographies I have read. Full of detail, in stories and anecdotes as well as insights in the complex personality of LBJ. Full of information about LBJ and his times and always fun to read.