Johnson and wife Lady Bird purchase a radio station in Austin, which is now known as KLBJ. This second book, Means of Ascent, deals almost exclusively with his Senate campaign in 1948. Caro’s diligence [and] ambition are phenomenal . Caro tells it with the same thriller instinct as the old novelists, yet with the passion for accuracy of the most exacting detective.” —Denis Wadley, Minneapolis/St. Above all, it is a richly textured, multilayered chronicle of a fundamental social and political change and how this change highlighted elements of Mr. Johnson’s character: his powerful needs, tremendous ambition and particular genius.” —Robert A. Kronley, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Caro is currently working on the fifth (and, presumably, final) volume in his LBJ series. It is nothing less than a political epic, the definitive account of a watershed election, rich with all of the intrigue and drama that have become the stuff of legend. It was during the 1940's that Johnson began to amass his fortune by buying into a government-regulated industry: radio. Caro repeats enough of the first volume’s highlights in early chapters that a reader could begin the series here without missing important themes. Although, I have to say Levi Morton may have overtaken Chester Arthur for the best facial hair. Another terrific review. Caro is a former investigative reporter and the author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies: “Master of the Senate” (the third volume in this series) and “The Power Broker” about the life of Robert Moses. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Means Of Ascent: The Years Of Lyndon Johnson; The book tells the story of Lyndon Johnson's life from 1941-1948 when he won a controversial election to the Senate. . Never has it been told so dramatically, with breathtaking detail piled on incredible development . © 2012-2020 Stephen Floyd and Readers familiar with Caro will recognize the meticulously thorough research which underpins this biography; he seems to have interviewed everyone who knew LBJ…as well as everyone who knew someone who knew LBJ. — 11 follow-up presidential bios & — 123,546 pages, Mar 2019 – Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Ascent definition is - the act of rising or mounting upward : climb. So far I’m entranced (but that always seems to be the case with Caro’s volumes – the question is whether it can *stay* this good!) . Volume 2 begins in earnest with Johnson’s brief service in World War II (the subject of significant embellishment by the future president). Does make me wonder how many VPs would have been enormous personalities as POTUS? But that’s just optics. It was the start of a broadcast empire that would make Johnson a multi-millionaire. And so far I haven’t disagreed with Caro’s perspectives on LBJ – I think he might have just approached the issue of character with a slightly gentler touch, while ending up in the same place, so as not to appear too heavy-handed. . PART I: TOO SLOW Chapter 1: Going Back After his defeat in his 1941 race for the Senate, Johnson returned to Washington. He has produced a portrait not only of Lyndon Johnson, but also of the politics and values of mid-century America.” —Philip Seib, Dallas Morning News, “Robert Caro gives us an LBJ who was human and then some, and what’s enthralling is how this lucid, fascinating book keeps forcing us to confront the extreme contradictions of what (on good days) we call human nature. It’s about the home of the Vice Presidents and there are a great number of pictures. Caro is a former investigative reporter and the author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies: “Master of the Senate” (the third volume in this series) and “The Power Broker” about the life of Robert Moses. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Caro’s treatment achieves poetic intensity.” —Paul Gray, Time, “Caro’s writing summons a reviewer’s cliches—gripping, compelling, absorbing, irresistible . Here’s hoping the last book is finished soon-ish. Where the first volume systematically develops a case against LBJ, this volume feels like a blistering, non-stop critique of nearly every aspect of his character. Aaron Burr and John Calhoun immediately come to mind. If it weren’t a cliche, I’d say it has Tolstoyan epic grandeur.” —Robert K. Massie, “Riveting . The culminating drama—the explosive heart of the book—is Caro’s illumination, based on extraordinarily detailed investigation, of one of the great political mysteries of the century. Due to its relatively narrow scope it offers fewer piercing revelations about Johnson than the first volume, but does an admirable job bridging two extremely consequential periods in his life. No one has done a better job of researching [the 1948 race] than Mr. Caro. Great review. Also feel Caro is appropriately harsh on LBJ; for me, LBJ is a fascinating subject. And in this book’s final chapters Caro foreshadows where the next volumes will take LBJ and his insatiable thirst for power. . [It has] the suspense of a political thriller.” —Steve Neal, Fort Worth Star Telegram, “Magnificent . Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Caro also continuously provides the reader with enough context, perspective and imagery that it is difficult to read this text and not imagine being at the scene of nearly every moment he describes. “One can trust every detail. . . He begins with an introduction to LBJ highlighting his accomplishments as president, most notably the Civil Rights legislation. And in the process of highlighting the darkest threads of Johnson’s character during his 1948 Senate bid, Caro elevates Coke Stevenson to lofty heights which most Texas historians probably wouldn’t recognize. I think you will see in volume 3 LBJ the true pol at work, esp if you are into the inner workings of legislation and process. . Caro burns into the reader’s imagination the story of the [1948 Senate] election. He briefly joins the Navy and does a very short stint in the Pacific. ! Looking forward to what you think. The story of that election has all the excitement of a murder mystery in which the culprit is known, but the question is whether justice will triumph. Caro’s prodigious research, and his discovery of original sources ignored by other biographers, proves beyond doubt that much of what Johnson said about these years was false . Epic.” —Mark Feeney, Boston Sunday Globe, “Immensely engrossing . Posted by Steve in President #36 - L Johnson, American history, biographies, book reviews, LBJ, Lyndon Johnson, presidential biographies, Robert Caro, US Presidents. — 240 presidential bios I have come across Charles Denyer’s book Number One Observatory Circle. And ultimately, as the political duel between the two men quickens—carrying with it all the confrontational and moral drama of the perfect Western—Caro makes us witness to a momentous turning point in American politics: the tragic last stand of the old politics versus the new—the politics of issue versus the politics of image, mass manipulation, money and electronic dazzle. He reminds us that Americans need to be vigilant in upholding their highest standards of ethics and good government.” —Guy Halverson, The Chistian Science Monitor, “His research is dazzlingly exhaustive, his gripping story is enhanced by excellent writing, and his findings [seem] largely irrefutable. He always claimed that it was Lady Bird's business. Hence with his LBJ books, where Caro’s accounts of life in the Texas Hill Country, election-time sausage making and the verities of the Senate are equally compelling, let alone his towering, compellingly flawed subject. Paul Star Tribune, “A great book, and I believe the completed biography will be the great book about American politics in the twentieth century. oneobservatorycircle.com for the info. The story of the ’48 election is remarkable, unique. The list of non-presidential VPs is a Who’s Who of forgotten political idols. ( Log Out / Above all, it is a richly textured, multilayered chronicle of a fundamental social and political change and how this change highlighted elements of Mr. Johnson’s character: his powerful needs, tremendous ambition and particular genius.” —Robert A. Kronley, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution The third sentence in this book, for instance, contains 124 words and more than a dozen commas, colons and semicolons. Means Of Ascent: The Years Of Lyndon Johnson Book Summary and Study Guide. . . And if Johnson is – in the eyes of some – this volume’s controversial antagonist, Stevenson is its strangely flawless luminary. Political Book Award, “Thrilling. . unputdownable. I, too, am finding LBJ fascinating (in a way that JFK wasn’t but perhaps should have been). In contrast, Stevenson drove from town to town as he always had. The spadework combined with Caro’s passion makes for drama more riveting than any novel.” —Mark A. Gamin, Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Caro is the premier biographer of our time.” —Bernard D. Nossiter, The Progressive, “No one understands Lyndon Baines Johnson without reading Robert A. Caro.” —James F. Vesely, Sacramento Union. www.bestpresidentialbios.com. It’s 5 stars in my book, but your justifications for its faults are well argued and insightful. Caro is an incredible writer and he can make even the most banal topics fascinating (eg., much of The Power Broker). Bestpresidentialbios.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. His analysis of how power is used—to build highways and dams, to win elections, to get rich—is masterly.” —Ronald Steel, The New York Times Book Review, “Caro has changed the art of political biography.” —Nicholas von Hoffman, “A spellbinding, hypnotic journey into the political life and times of Lyndon Johnson. Caro often (but not always) provides convincing evidence to support his portrayal of LBJ, but he frequently fails to include evidence that could soften the sharp edges of that portrait. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
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