Heroic Manipulator

The Passage of Power
Robert A. Caro
Alfred A. Knopf, $35, 712 pp.

In the heady days of JFK and Camelot, young Ivy Leaguers on the Washington social circuit regaled themselves with a snide one-liner: “Whatever happened to Lyndon Johnson?” The answer of course was that LBJ, whose life ambition was to win the office once held by his hero FDR, now occupied instead the mostly ornamental vice-presidency. A once larger-than-life figure, who had mastered the Senate when John F. Kennedy was just an upstart rendering undistinguished service...

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About the Author

James P. McCartin teaches at Seton Hall University. He is the author of Prayers of the Faithful: The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics (Harvard University Press).