Author(s): Robert A Caro
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
NAMED BY "THE NEW YORK TIMES" ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
"The fourth volume of Caro's prodigious masterwork . . . with the author's signature combination of sweeping drama, psychological insight and painstaking research."
NAMED ONE OF "TIME "MAGAZINE'S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NAMED ONE OF "NEWSDAY'"S TWELVE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
"The Economist * Newsweek * Foreign Policy * Business Week * The Week * The Christian Science Monitor
"SELECTED BY HISTORY NEWS NETWORK POLL OF HISTORIANS BEST HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR"
"The Passage of Power" follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and most triumphant periods of his career--1958 to 1964. It is an unparalleled account of the battle between Johnson and John Kennedy for the 1960 presidential nomination, of the machinations behind Kennedy's decision to offer Johnson the vice presidency, and of Johnson's powerlessness and humiliation in that role. With the superlative skills of a master storyteller, Caro exposes the savage animosity between Johnson and Robert Kennedy, portraying one of America's great political feuds.
In Caro's description of the Kennedy assassination, which "The New York Times" called "the most riveting ever," we see the events of November 22, 1963, for the first time through Lyndon Johnson's eyes. And we watch as his political genius enables him to grasp the reins of the presidency with total command, and, within weeks, make it wholly his own, surmounting unprecedented obstacles in order to fulfill the highest purpose of the office. It is an epic story, displaying all the narrative energy and illuminating insight that led the "Times" of London to acclaim "The Years of Lyndon""Johnson "as "one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age."
For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, has three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award, for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year and for Best Biography, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best "exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist." In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.
Caro's first book, "The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York," everywhere acclaimed as a modern classic, was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century. "Time" magazine chose it as one of the hundred top nonfiction books of all time. It is, according to David Halberstam, "Surely the greatest book ever written about a city." And "The New York Times Book Review "said: "In the future, the scholar who writes the history of American cities in the twentieth century will doubtless begin with this extraordinary effort."
The first volume of "The Years of Lyndon Johnson," "The Path to Power," was cited by "The Washington Post" as "proof that we live in a great age of biography . . . [a book] of radiant excellence . . . Caro's evocation of the Texas Hill Country, his elaboration of Johnson's unsleeping ambition, his understanding of how politics actually work, are--let it be said flat out--at the summit of American historical writing." Professor Henry F. Graff of Columbia University called the second volume, "Means of Ascent," "brilliant. No review does justice to the drama of the story Caro is telling, which is nothing less than how present-day politics was born." "The London Times" hailed volume three, "Master of the Senate," as "a masterpiece . . . Robert Caro has written one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age." "The Passage of Power," volume four, has been called "Shakespearean ... A breathtakingly dramatic story [told] with consummate artistry and ardor" ("The New York Times") and "as absorbing as a political thriller . . . By writing the best presidential biography the country has ever seen, Caro has forever changed the way we think about, and read, American history" (NPR). On the cover of "The New York Times Book Review," President Bill Clinton praised it as "Brilliant . . . Important . . .Remarkable. With this fascinating and meticulous account Robert Caro has once again done America a great service."
"Caro has a unique place among American political biographers," according to "The Boston Globe." "He has become, in many ways, the standard by which his fellows are measured." And Nicholas von Hoffman wrote: "Caro has changed the art of political biography."
Born and raised in New York City, Caro graduated from Princeton University, was later a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and worked for six years as an investigative reporter for "Newsday." He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, the historian and writer.