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August 19, 2018


Spin #18: Means of Ascent LBJ

by N@ncy




  1. Robert Caro is writing  The Years of Lyndon Johnson.
  2. Four volumes have been published and he is working on vol 5.
  3. As of 2017 400 pages were typed for this last book.
  4. Now Caro is moving to Vietnam to continue the writing process.
  5. I cannot emphasize enough
  6. …what a monumental historical document
  7. …Robert Caro is giving us.
  8. I read volume 1 The Path to Power…it was very good.
  9. All of the volumes are chunksters and the only way I can
  10. read them is using an audio version on my IPOD.
  11. I listen during my walks, while doing household chores,
  12. riding my bike to the grocery store….and 30 min before sleeping.
  13. LBJ and Nancy have become very close!



  1. Volume 2 is a blow-by-blow account of the drama
  2. concerning the back-round and outcome of the
  3. 1948 Senate seat of Texas election.
  4. Caro reveals  an exhaustive amount of
  5. …details only recently available to historians.
  6. There are long testimonies given in court by individuals who
  7. conspired with LBJ to STEAL the election!
  8. Needless to say.
  9. the Johnsons family is not fond of Robert Caro.
  10. This book was about LBJ  but it did spur me on
  11. …to learn more about the defeated candidate in the race:
  12. ‘Coke’ Stevens and the demcratic political boss
  13. that put LBJ in  the 1948 senate, The Duke of Duval
  14. …George Berham Parr
  15. #MeanerThanABarnyardDog


Last thoughts:

  1. Means of Ascent  paled in comparison to
  2. …the blockbuster volume 1  The Path to Power.
  3. A senatorial race in Texas 1948 may seem to be a turning point
  4. …in modern politics but is was just a ‘run-of-the-mill’
  5. type of  campaign in USA  even today!
  6. The only difference being the role of
  7. Twitter,  FB social media and the
  8. …phenomenon of ‘fake news’ websites!
  9. Backroom deals, bibes, intimidation even ballot-box stuffing
  10. …it is STILL going on.
  11. LBJ is just one of many  USA politicians that have entered office
  12. by these distinct patterns or methods of operation
  13. ……Modus Operandi.
  14. Oh, don’t forget there are also rich fathers who make sure
  15. their son is the first Catholic president in the White House.
  16. I recommend the book about
  17.   the MAN behind JFK
  18. The Patriarch by David Nasaw (2012).
  19. #EyeOpener



My notes:

August 3, 2018

Listened to introduction that lasted 1 hour 11 min on IPOD!
This book will look at 7 years 1941-1948. LBJ won a senate seat in election 1948…by just 87 votes. Why was this election a watershed moment? It was the end of ‘ol school politics’ ( handshaking, backslapping and the three B’s: beef steak, bourbon and blondes) and the start of the new school politics (media, TV, backroom deals of pressure and persuasion).

August 7, 2018

Ch 1-2 are a re-hash of the first book. You can jump into ch 3 and not miss a beat. LBJ is desperate to get into ‘the combat zone’ (…if Melbourne Australia is considered the front line…hmmm). It looks good on the political CV. Poor Lady Bird Johnson….husband treats her eith his Neanderthal habits. She gives him his due respect …he runs out the back door to his mistress Alice.


August 14, 2018

The more I learn about LBJ…the more i admire his wife Lady Bird Johnson
…for being able to endure her insensitive husband.


August 15, 2018

Frenetic politician….LBJ wants every minute to be used to convince the voter he must be their next senator 1948. The ‘windmill’ a Sikorsky heli was the newest tool he used to visit at least 10 small Teaxan towns on ‘the forks of the creek’ a day! This was the start of modern political campaigns!


August 16, 2018

Well, it’s official…LBJ did not buy his Texas senate election 1948…he stole it! Putting this man in high office…changed the course of history (Vietnam).
How many subsequent US elections have been stolen….I wonder.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 19 2018

    Interesting you have the patience for audio, I haven’t. I tried once in the car but didn’t really enjoy having the period of peace disrupted by the sound of someone’s voice. I prefer the silence of reading for now I guess.


    • Aug 19 2018

      I use the audio books during my morning walks….or just puttering around the house.
      Preferred genre is non-ficton b/c I only have to conentrate on one or two items for my comments that reaaly surprised me.
      I do recommend audio book for the fiction classic ‘Pickwick Papers’ by Dickens. That book is huge and every time I attempted to read it…I failed. It took me many morning walks to ‘read’ the book….but the voices brought the book to life! Loved the different accents and speech patterns (cockney) used for the audio. If this is a book on your bucket list….audio is the way to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aug 20 2018

    I’ve been wanting to read this series but it is a commitment! A friend (from Texas) has read them all to date and on paper. Whew! I prefer paper mostly as well. But a good reader for books with accents or poetry can be nice.


    • Aug 20 2018

      I am so curious about the real man that LBJ was
      ….not what was projected in the press.
      My heart goes out to Lady Bird whenever I read how he treated her….
      He was nothing without her and I think that frightened him.
      Thanks for your comments!



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  1. Classic Club Spin # 18 | NancyElin
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