Hailed as 'the greatest biography of our era' (The Times) this is the fourth part of Robert Caro's monumental work on American President Lyndon Johnson.
The Passage of Power, 'the series' crowning volume' (Economist), spans the years 1958 to 1964, arguably the most crucial years in the life of Johnson and pivotal years for American history. This era saw some of the most frustrating moments of Johnson's career, but also some of his most triumphant. His battle with the Kennedy brothers over the 1960 Democratic nomination for president was a bitter one, and the ensuing years of Johnson's vice-presidency were marked with humiliation. But, thrust into power following the assassination of J. F. Kennedy, Johnson grasped the presidential role with unprecedented skill. Caro also provides a fresh perspective on Kennedy's assassination from Johnson's viewpoint, and penetrates deep into what it was like for him to assume a position of such power at a time of national crisis.
The Passage of Power documents Johnson's extraordinary early presidency, forcing previously abandoned bills on the budget and civil rights through an uncooperative Congress and striving to achieve what he saw to be the highest standard of office.
In The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Caro shows a delicacy of touch and a profoundness of insight into the state of a nation under the hand of a political master. Collectively these volumes constitute a major history of America in the first three-quarters of the twentieth century.
Robert A. Caro has been described as `the greatest political biographer of our times' (Sunday Times) and `a world authority on the nature of power and how to use it' (Guardian). Born and raised in New York City, he graduated from Princeton University, later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and was an investigative reporter for Newsday for six years. His first book, The Power Broker, won the Pulitzer Prize in biography and the Frances Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians. His subsequent books comprise a multi-volume work, The Years of Lyndon Johnson, 'regarded by many as the greatest political biography of the modern era' (The Times). Over the course of four volumes, he has become one of the most lauded writers of his generation, winning three National Book Critics Circle Awards, the National Book Award and a further Pulitzer Prize. He is currently at work on the fifth and final volume. In addition, Robert Caro has also been awarded virtually every other major literary honour, including the Gold Medal in Biography from the National Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in the United States. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.