Saturday, June 16, 2012

Imagine having someone devoting thirty years of their life writing about your life and winning Pulitzer Prizes for the effort along the way. This author is writing about the life and times of the 36th President of the United States who died nearly forty years ago. He is Robert A. Caro, a devoted writer.
In his books he tells us of his admiration of Lyndon B. Johnson who was a big and tall man standing at 6’4”. He portrayed a bigness about him with large hands and a broad stature who would lean down into your face when he talked to you. Character observations like this you don’t always find in books about people. For more than thirty years Robert has concentrated on just one thing L.B.J.
The author found fascinating the political power the President possessed. So, this author wrote massive volumes called Lyndon Johnson Means of Ascent, The Years of Lyndon Johnson The Path To Power, Lyndon Johnson Master of the Senate and The Years of Lyndon Johnson The Passage of Power.
The first three books details his rise from Texas voice box to the most influential majority leader in Senate history. The fourth book, The Passage of Power out recently, begins during the 1960 Presidential campaign where Johnson is out maneuvered for the Democratic nomination by the aristocratic upstart Massachusetts, Senator, John F. Kennedy.
Johnson thought Kennedy was pathetic and had contempt for him. The real blood feud was between Johnson and Robert Kennedy. One of the most dramatic accounts in the book was when Kennedy realizes he needs Johnson to win the south and offers him the vice-presidency at the Democratic Convention. Bobby asked Johnson three different times to refuse the invitation without success.
L.B.J. helps Kennedy win the White House. But as Vice-President, Johnson is treated with disdain by the entire administration. He always had a sad expression. After Kennedy is assassinated, the book reveals in great detail how quickly L.B.J. moves to consolidate his power. He uses his first address to Congress to draw the country together and jump start Kennedy’s stalled legislative agenda.
Caro is the writer you want to write about you. He wrote another highly acclaimed book about Robert Moses, the urban planner who created modern day New York City. Caro won a Pulitzer Prize in Biography for the book “The Power Broker.” Another Pulitzer Prize in Biography for the President Johnson book called “Master of the Senate.” And his last few books have been number one best sellers.
He works simply with his wife who is his researcher in an elegant apartment on Central Park in New York City. He is highly successful and proud of his meticulousness towards detail. It is rare to have someone take the time to know someone else so well in such detail and want to write down all their observations about them. That is what makes author Robert Caro so great. What a wonderful way to spend your life living where you want with a reader researcher by your side helping you to create something like a story that is a winning story and a lucrative living from telling your stories.
Martin Luther King said about L.B. J. “I think the President is doing a very good job in civil rights.” Yes, the FATHER of the civil rights movement worked closely with President Johnson who said about the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” This Bill is going to pass and be signed and enacted into law because justice and morality demands it.” Yes, this FATHER of our country made sure he did the right thing while in office.
Robert Caro is already at work on the next part of the story writing his next book.. It will be about Johnson’s time in office being undone about his pursuit of the Vietnam War. It will be the 76 year old’s last word on the man who has dominated his life for so long. Robert Caro can’t answer the question of if he liked or disliked Johnson. He says about the President that “He was a genius” a Father that got us through the grief of an assignation and through tough racial times; a modern day FATHER of our country. Happy Father’s Day.

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