The Path to Power
- Author: R. Caro (1935)
- Title: The Path to Power
- Published: 1981
- Trivia: Won the National book Critics Circle Award 1982
- Trivia: First book in planned 5 volume biography of LBJ.
- Trivia: List Reading Challenges 2018
- Trivia: Magic Square Challenge – biography
- Monthly reading planning
- Robert Allan Caro is an American journalist.
- Robert Caro writes biography with a free and loose hand.
- He transforms biography into something new
- ….structured political opinion writing.
- He lived in the Texas Hill Country while writing The Path to Power.
- It covers Johnson’s youth.
- This epic biography is nearing its close. Slowly but surely.
- Mr. Caro ( 81 yr) said he had most of the research for the last volume.
- But “one more big thing” remains, he said: A trip to Vietnam.
LBJ is a stubborn child and teenager.
I had no idea what a rascal he was in his youth!
Finally he breaks and realizes….he will HAVE to go to college
if he ever wants to make something of himself!”
The LBJ of the college years would be the man who would become president.
He came out of the Hill Country of Texas.
It formed and shaped him….into a form so hard it would never change.
Lady Bird (wife) was LBJ’s most important political asset.
I’m learning why LBJ became an important “mover and shaker” in Washington.
But he never would have risen politically without
the help of Speaker of the House…Sam Rayburn.
Johnson family favorite saying:
You can tell a man by his boots, …his hats and the horse he rides.
The lapel-grabbing, embracing, manipulating of men
the wheeling-and-dealing the genius for politics
all culminated in …not the desire to dominate
….but the NEED to dominate.
LBJ was sensitive to the slightest hint of criticism and had
the urge not just to defeat….but destroy.
This book after all these years acquires a warm patina with age.
I let my thoughts drift while reading about the personality of LBJ
…his boot licking, bullying and thirst for respect and power.
LBJ: “born politician…but at times all hat an no cattle!”
He was more image or projection than actual substance.
Does it remind you of someone currently in The White House?
#MustRead….even if you are not a history buff!
LBJ VS TRUMP:
Poor beginnings …always in debt!
Strong relationship with his mother Rebekah
Rich family….money was no object
Rarely saw his mother…he did see a lot of the housekeeper.
LBJ – TRUMP….both
Lacking political moral sensibility
Use of money to move the political world
Credibility gap… both men lied…incessantly!
Lack of embarrassment when proved they were lying
…they just didn’t care!
All encompassing personal ambition
…that made issues and scruples superfluous.