By Robert A. Caro
The Passage of strength follows Lyndon Johnson via either the main tricky and so much successful interval of his career—1958 to 1964. An remarkable account of the conflict among Johnson and John Kennedy for the 1960 presidential nomination, of the machinations at the back of Kennedy's selection to provide Johnson the vice presidency, and of Johnson’s powerlessness and humiliation in that position. With the superlative abilities of a grasp storyteller, Caro exposes the savage animosity among Johnson and Robert Kennedy, portraying one in every of America’s nice political feuds.
In Caro's description of the Kennedy assassination, which the recent York instances known as "the so much riveting ever," we see the occasions of November 22, 1963, for the 1st time via Lyndon Johnson’s eyes. And we watch as his political genius allows him to understand the reins of the presidency with overall command, and, inside of weeks, make it fully his personal, surmounting exceptional hindrances so as to satisfy the top objective of the place of work. it truly is an epic tale, exhibiting all of the narrative power and illuminating perception that led the days of London to acclaim The Years of Lyndon Johnson as “one of the actually nice political biographies of the fashionable age.”
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Additional info for The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4: The Passage of Power
And within the final days ahead of the vote casting that insurance was once repeated to different liberals. The assurances have been repeated additionally via the candidate’s brother. Robert Kennedy “pledged to a few these operating with him—including Rauh, who used to be attempting to bring the District of Columbia [delegation]—that Johnson wouldn't be at the ticket,” the Washington put up was once to record. After Humphrey got rid of himself from competition via refusing to recommend Kennedy, the applicants frequently pointed out for the ticket’s vice presidential slot have been Stuart Symington, Governor Orville L. Freeman of Minnesota and Senator Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson of Washington. “The one identify by no means pointed out was once Lyndon Johnson,” Arthur Schlesinger states. “Quite the opposite: the Kennedy humans informed every person as categorically as attainable that he was once no longer within the photo. ” This was once the stance not just in public yet at the back of closed doorways. “There was once by no means any speak within the workplace that Mr. Johnson was once to be the working mate,” Evelyn Lincoln was once to recount. yet now, after Kennedy referred to as, Johnson stated to Rowe, “Power is the place energy goes,” and Rowe knew “He was once quite puzzling over it. ” HE HAD HOURS sooner than Kennedy got here all the way down to his suite at ten o’clock, hours to not come to a decision what he used to be going to do, simply because he knew what he used to be going to do—but to envision to work out if there has been whatever he had ignored. This used to be no time for the second one string, or for a person who, like Reedy, used to be clever yet occasionally flinched from taking a look harsh realities within the face, for the realities now have been very harsh, the alternative very difficult. 3 males have been referred to as to the Johnson suite: “the guy who knew the place all of the our bodies have been buried”; the guy who had written the Truman memo; and the guy who was once the main pragmatic of all his aides—not his confidant, for Lyndon Johnson had no confidant, however the guy who might “do whatever for him,” and who was once additionally “the in basic terms guy who was once tricky adequate to address Bobby Kennedy. ” And whilst Bobby Baker, Jim Rowe and John Connally had arrived, Johnson informed them to put out the explanations why he should still or shouldn’t settle for the vice presidency, should still Kennedy supply it. He advised Connally to begin off, however the 3 males came upon themselves in contract on the entire key issues, seasoned and con. “We weren't attempting to convince him of the virtues and glories of the vice presidency,” Connally was once to remember. “We have been taking a look at it extra from a detrimental perspective: the place does your chance lie? ” And he and Rowe either concluded that, in Connally’s phrases, “Your hazard lies in declining to simply accept it. ” Johnson had much to lose through no longer accepting, they agreed. If he didn’t settle for, Kennedy might most likely lose the election. “He’ll by no means beat Nixon in Texas except you’re at the ticket,” Connally stated. “Texas used to be mentioned at substantial size. ” with no Johnson at the price ticket, in truth, Kennedy will possibly not, opposed to Nixon, a conservative and inheritor to Eisenhower, be capable of win again the cast South Eisenhower had damaged so decisively. And if Kennedy misplaced the election, Johnson will be blamed for the loss by means of northern liberals who already, in Baker’s word, “hate your guts”—they already felt he used to be “not a completely dedicated Democrat,” Baker stated; Johnson’s refusal to affix the price ticket could verify them in that trust.