This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
By 1958, as Lyndon B. Johnson began to maneuver for the presidency, he was considered one of the most brilliant politicians of his time and the greatest Senate Leader in our history, before the 1960 nomination saw him trade this prestige for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President. The Passage to Power, book four of Robert A. Caro’s monumental The Years of Lyndon Johnson follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career – 1958 to 1964. In Caro’s breathtakingly vivid narrative, we see the Kennedy assassination through Lyndon Johnson’s eyes. We watch Johnson step into the presidency, inheriting a Congress determined to retain its power over the executive branch, and a nation in shock and mourning. We see how within weeks he grasps the reins of the presidency with supreme mastery and seizes on a dormant Kennedy program to create the revolutionary War on Poverty. This was without doubt Johnson’s finest hour, before his aspirations and accomplishments were overshadowed and eroded by the trap of Vietnam. For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, 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 graduated from Princeton University and later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.
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