Brilliant . . . Important . . . Remarkable . . . In sparking detail, Caro shows Johnson s genius for getting to people friends, foes, and everyone in between and how he used it to achieve his goals . . .With this fascinating and meticulous account Robert Caro has once again done America a great service.
President Bill Clinton, The New York Times Book Review(front cover) By writingthe best presidential biography the country has ever seen, Caro has forever changed the way we think, and read, American history . . . Although the amount of research Caro has done for these books is staggering, it s his immense talent as a writer that has made his biography of Johnson one of America s most amazing literary achievements . . . Caro s chronicle isas absorbing as a political thriller. . . There s not a wasted word, not a needless anecdote . . . Most impressively, Caro comes closer than any other historian could to explaining the famously complex LBJ . . . Caro s portrayal of the president is as scrupulously fair as it is passionate and deeply felt . . . The series isa masterpiece, unlike any other work of American history published in the past. It s true that there will never be another Lyndon B. Johnson, but there will never be another Robert A. Caro, either. Michael Schaub, NPR
A breathtakingly dramatic storyabout a pivotal moment in United States history [told] with consummate artistry and ardor. . .It showcases Mr. Caro s masterly gifts as a writer: his propulsive sense of narrative, his talent for enabling readers to see and feel history in the making and his ability to situate hissubjects actions within the context of their times. . . Caro manages to lend even much-chronicled events a punch of tactile immediacy .. . Johnson emerges as both a larger-than-life, Shakespearean personage with epic ambition and epic flaws and a more human-scale puzzle . . . Mr. Caro uses his storytelling gifts to turn seemingly arcane legislative maneuvers intoaction-movie suspense, and he gives us unparalleled understanding of how Johnson used a crisis and his ownpolitical acumen to implement his agenda with stunning speed. Taken togetherthe installments of Mr. Caro s monumental life of Johnson form arevealing prism by which to view the better part of a century in American life and politics.
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
A great work of history . . . A great biography . . . Caro has summoned Lyndon Johnson to vivid, intimate life. Newsweek
Making ordinary politics and policymaking riveting and revealing is what makes Caro a genius.Combined with his penetrating insight and fanatical research, Caro s Churchill-like prose elevates the life of a fairly influential president to stuff worthy of Shakespeare . . . Reading Caro s books can feel like encountering the life of an American president for the first time . . . Caro s judgment is solid, his prose inspiring, and his research breathtaking . . . Robert Caro stands alone as the unquestioned master of the contemporary American political biography.
Jordan Michael Smith, The Boston Globe
A meditation on power as profound as Machiavelli s. Lara Marlowe, Irish Times
One of the most compelling political narratives of the past half-century . . . A vivid picture of how political power worked in the US during the middle of the 20th century at local, state and national level. . . This extraordinary work will remain essential reading for decades to come. Richard Lambert, Financial Times
Unrivaled . . . Caro does not merely recount. He beckons. Single sentences turn into winding, brimming paragraphs, clauses upon clauses tugging at the reader, layering the scenery with character intrigue and the plot with historical import. The result is irresistible . . .Passagecovers with all the artistry and intrigue of a great novel events that are seared in the nation s memory. In an era defined by fragmented media markets, instantaneous communication, gadflies and chattering suits, Caro stands not merely apart, but alone.
William Howell, San Francisco Chronicle
The greatest political biography ever written . . . The most sweeping historical tour de force since Gibbons s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire . . . Caro has imprinted himself into history. His work is now the benchmark of political biography. Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald
Riveting . . . Masterful . . . An insightful account of what it means and what it takes to occupy the Oval Office. Steve Paul, The Kansas City Star
Robert Caro is the essential chronicler of these times: And these times should never be forgotten. Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Caro s masterpiece of biography . . . His strength as a biographer is his ability to probe Johnson s mind and motivations . . . Riveting . . . A roller-coaster tale.
The latest in what is almost without question the greatest political biography in modern times . . . Nobody goes deeper, works harder or produces more penetrating insights than [Caro]. Patrick Beach, AustinAmerican-Statesman
The politicians political book of choice . . . An encyclopedia of dirty tricks that would make Machiavelli seem naive. Michael Burleigh, London Literary Review
Majestic . . . The reporting is copious, the writing elegant and energetic, the sentences frequently rushing forward themselves like mighty rivers. Four books, and nearly four decades, into this vast project, Caro s commitment to excellence has not wavered or even slackened; the reader can feel the sheer force of his effort on every page. Ronald Brownstein, Democracy
By dramatizing the capacities and limitations of the most talented politician of the postwar era, Caro aims to make readers shrewder citizens . . . As a student of power, Caro is a Machiavelli for democrats, who instead of addressing the prince, addresses the people. Thomas Meaney, The Nation
Astonishing and unprecedented . . . a work of real literature, among the best nonfiction works ever . . . His books . . . argue that things happen because certain people with power want them to happen . . . It is not inconceivable to think that, without the presence of LBJ and the influence on him of his character and his experiences, none [of the civil rights bills] would have won Congressional approval . . . More than operatic, Caro s Johnson books deserve another adjective, one that matches his genius, his sensitivity and his ambition: Shakespearean.
Patrick T. Reardon
The best biography I ve ever read . . . Incredibly well-written, with the tension and drama of a compulsive thriller, and the style of an elegant novel. Caro s books aren t just about politics, or just about Lyndon Johnson. His books are about America, its culture, its history, and its society. Above all, Caro s books are about power, how to achieve it and make it multiply; how to use power and how to lose it. Michael Crick, UK Channel 4 News
My book of the year, by a landslide majority, was The Passage of Power. The adjective Shakespearean is overused and mostly undeserved but not in this case. LBJ emerges from this biography as a fully rounded tragic hero: cowardly and brave, petty and magnificent, vindictive and noble, a man of vaunting ambition and profound insecurities. Caro marries profound psychological insight with a brilliant eye for the drama of the times. Robert Harris, The Guardian (London)
Caro is a genius at delineating character, and not just that of the deliciously complicated LBJ. He investigates, among other larger-than-life figures, the Kennedy brothers, the powerful and unbending Harry Byrd of Virginia, and the clownlike but devoted Bobby Baker . . . Caro s use of strong image and repetition, almost hypnotic in combination, is breathtakingly effective. Caro is a great historian, but if the purpose of art is to stimulate thought and arouse emotion, he is also a great artist. Rosemary Michaud, Charleston Post and Courier
A portrait of executive leadership so evocative as to be tactile.
Robert Draper, Wall Street Journal
The only superstar biographer in the world . . . Caro s [books] transform biography into something new, a tour de force of structured political opinion writing . . . A single theme emerges: the insidious ways that clever politicians can gather and abuse power sometimes for good, sometimes for evil in a modern democratic society. Levi Asher, Literary Kicks
One of the greatest biographies in the history of American letters.
Bob Hoover, Cleveland Plain Dealer
As riveting as a thriller . . . The next book will crown an achievement in presidential biography unmatched among presidential histories.
David Hendricks, Houston Chronicle
Every page [of The Years of Lyndon Johnson] is compelling. For many politicians it is the finest book on politics . . . The ultimate political story.
Daniel Finkelstein, London Times
Long live Robert Caro . . . Truly epic political history and character study . . . Riveting . . . It elevates Caro s tale to Shakespearean drama, as the coldhearted, Machiavellian maneuvering and hot-blooded rivalries of supremely ambitious men play out with the fate of the free world at stake.
Dan DeLuca, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Brilliant . . . A masterclass in political management . . . Caro not only re-creates one of the giants of modern politics, he tells a giant tale about power and about life itself. Andrew Adonis, New Statesman
A masterly how-to manual, showing Johnson s knowledge of governing, his peerless congressional maneuvering and effective deal-making.The Years ofLyndon Johnsonis a compact library: brilliant biography, gripping history, searing political drama and an incomparable study of power. It s also a great read . . . And, after thousands of pages spent with Lyndon Johnson, one of Caro s singular achievements is that you want more. Peter Gianotti, Newsday
The Years of Lyndon Johnson, when completed, will rank as America s most ambitiously conceived, assiduously researched and compulsively readable political biography . . . When Caro s fifth volume arrives, readers gratitude will be exceeded only by their regret that there will not be a sixth. George F. Will
This book shows the mastery of Johnson in politics, and also the mastery of Caro in biography. David M. Shribman, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Epic . . . A searing account of ambition derailed by personal demons . . . a triumphant drama of political genius in action . . . Caro combines the skills of a historian, an investigative reporter and a novelist in this searching study of the transformative effect of power. Wendy Smith, Los Angeles Times An addictive read, written in glorious prose that suggests the world s most diligent beat reporter channeling William Faulkner.Passageis an essential document of a turning point in American history.It s also an incisive portrait of one great, terrible, fascinating man suddenly given the chance to reinvent the country in his image. Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly
Riveting . . . Shakespearean . . . It s a roller-coaster narrative as Johnson plummets from the powerful Senate majority leader post to vice-presidential irrelevance, hated and humiliated by the Kennedy brothers, then surges to presidential authority with the crack of Lee Harvey Oswald s rifle and forces a revolutionary civil rights act through a recalcitrant Congress . . . Caro s tormented, heroic Johnson makes an apt embodiment of an America struggling toward epochal change, one with a fascinating resonance in our era of gridlocked government. Publishers Weekly (Boxed, Starred) The fourth volume of one of the most anticipated English-language biographies of the past 30 years . . . A compelling narrative . . . that will thrill those who care about American politics, the foundations of power, or both . . . Before beginning the Johnson biography, Caro published a life of Robert Moses, The Power Broker(1974), a book many scholars consider a watershed in contemporary biography. The Johnson project deserves equal praise. KirkusReviews(Starred)
A major event in biography, history, even publishing itself . . . Caro has once more combined prodigious research and a literary gift to mount a stage for his Shakespearean figures: LBJ, JFK, and LBJ s nemesis Robert F. Kennedy.
Brilliant . . . Riveting reading from beginning to end . . . The real tour de force in this stunning mix of political and psychological analysis comes in the account of the transition between administrations, from November 23, 1963 to January 8, 1964 . . . An utterly fascinating character study, brimming with delicious insider stories . . . Political wonks, of course, will dive into this book with unbridled passion, but its focus on a larger-than-life, flawed but fascinating individual the kind of character who drives epic fiction should extend its reach much, much further. Unquestionably, one of the truly big books of the year. Booklist(Starred)