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...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...


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).