The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

Passage of PowerBy Robert Caro

A publishing event: the fourth volume in Robert Caro’s monumental biography, The Years of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the best-selling and prize-winning The Path to Power, Means of Ascent, and Master of the Senate.

The Passage of Power follows Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career. It tells the story of his volatile relationship with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy during the fight they waged for the 1960 Democratic nomination for president and through Johnson’s unhappy vice presidency. It gives us for the first time the story of the assassination from the viewpoint of Lyndon Johnson himself. And with the depth of insight, the profound grasp of both the life and times of his subject that Robert Caro has consistently brought to this mesmerizing biography, it reveals what it was like to suddenly become president in a time of great crisis – an assumption of presidential power unprecedented in American history; how he stepped, unprepared, into the presidency and within weeks forced through Congress bills on the budget and civil rights that it had determined to let die; how through his singular political genius he set out to make the presidency his own, and to fulfill the highest purpose of the office. It is Johnson’s finest hour, before his aspirations and his accomplishments were overshadowed and eroded by the trap of Vietnam.

The Passage of Power is currently a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.

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