Friday, 13 April 2012
the passage of power, by Robert Caro - LBJ
is the title of the new volume in the series which forms the great biography of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro. It is the best study of political power I have ever read. I have been waiting years for the latest one, and have just pre-ordered it. Read the others now if you can, but be warned, it is "du boulot" as the French say, there is a lot in it. The books are long, and they are detailed, and they are fascinating. The effect of the coming of electricity to rural Texas on the politics of the state? How rural women did washing in that state? How the farming was done? How the Senate was taken over and controlled? How civil rights legislation was introduced, after decades of failure? How the Senate election of 1948 was stolen? It's all there. There has been about a ten-year gap between the appearance of each volume, and Caro is 76 now, so I am relieved that he has found the time to write it. You can read a lovely profile of him here and you can start with volume 1 here if you haven't discovered these books yet. I love his style - the long looping paragraphs followed by one-sentence ones. I wish I had had the chance to read these before i went into politics, but they came out during those years. Highly recommended.