RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 783520805 LA English T1 The years of Lyndon Johnson : the passage of power A1 Caro, Robert A., PB Alfred A. Knopf PP New York YR 2012 SN 9780679405078 0679405070 AB In volume four of this biography, Robert Caro follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career -- 1958 to1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin's bullet to reach its mark. By 1958, as Johnson began to maneuver for the presidency, he was known as one of the most brilliant politicians of his time, the greatest Senate Leader in our history. But the 1960 nomination would go to the young senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. Caro gives us an account of the machinations behind both the nomination and Kennedy's decision to offer Johnson the vice presidency, revealing also the extent of Robert Kennedy's efforts to force Johnson off the ticket. Caro exposes the savage animosity between Johnson and Kennedy's younger brother, portraying one of America's great political feuds. Yet Robert Kennedy's overt contempt for Johnson was only part of the burden of humiliation and isolation he bore as Vice President. Caro describes what it was like for this politician to find himself altogether powerless in a world in which power is the crucial commodity. We see the Kennedy assassination through Lyndon Johnson's eyes. We watch Johnson step into the presidency, inheriting a staff loyal to his slain predecessor; a Congress determined to retain its power over the executive branch; and a nation in shock and mourning. We see how within weeks he propels through Congress essential legislation that at the time of Kennedy's death seemed hopelessly logjammed and seizes on a dormant Kennedy program to create the War on Poverty. Caro makes clear how the political genius with which Johnson had ruled the Senate now enabled him to make the presidency wholly his own before his aspirations and accomplishments were overshadowed and eroded by the trap of Vietnam. In its exploration of this pivotal period in Johnson's life -- and in the life of the nation -- The Passage of Power is not only the story of how he surmounted unprecedented obstacles in order to fulfill the highest purpose of the presidency but is, as well, a revelation of both the pragmatic potential in the presidency and what can be accomplished when the chief executive has the vision and determination to move beyond the pragmatic and initiate programs designed to transform a nation.