"IT'S a wonderfully written set of books. The stories are quite breath-taking. I read the first two books some time ago and most of the time when I've been back to the US I've been thinking, where is this third volume? I've just picked it up on my latest visit.
People talk of politics as being the art of the possible, but LBJ's career shows it's about purpose. In his Senate days he made great advances in civil rights. As President he can claim responsibility for legislation on civil rights and povert that, because of Johnson's knowledge of the Senate, John F. Kennedy would have found difficult to match if he had lived.
These books tell you a lot about Johnson's maniulation and behind-the-scenes clashes. With Johnson it all went pretty deep, with stories of how lost elections were unlst and radio stations bought. But surprisingly, with LBJ there is real achievement. He made the desirable possible. Without the debacle of Vietnam he was heading to be one of the great domestic policy Presidents.
These books challenge the view of history that politics is just about individual manoeuvring. It's about ideas and principled policy achievements. That's what makes it one of the great political biographies."
--Gordon Brown, THE TIMES, April 25, 2002
"MANY years ago my wife and I
swapped houses for the summer
with Robert Caro and his wife. We
arrived at the Caro house in East
Hampton, Long Island, armed with
the books we intended to read
during our stay.
Scattered around the house were copies of the first volume of Caro's riveting biography of Lyndon Johnson. We picked them up - and couldn't put them down.
For Caro writing a biography is writing a thriller -in Johnson's case, a western. You can't stop turning the pages. He doesn't like Johnson, but the facts are there so you can make your own judgments.
I can't recommend this book highly enough."
--Michael Howard, THE TIMES, April 25, 2002
"...with the life of LBJ he (Caro) could tell the story of the
development of modern America. This piece of intuition combined with Robert Caro's
phenomenal, almost unbelievable, dedication to his task over 30 years
has produced a masterpiece.
"...Robert Caro has written one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age."
--Daniel Finkelstein, THE TIMES (London), April 25, 2002
TLS (Times Literary Supplement) August 9, 2002
"Like the Pyramids, Robert Caro's monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson
impresses first for its size, but is finally most memorable for its
intricacy and precision.......finished or not,
this is likely to be seen as the finest American political biography since Arthur Schlesinger's epic on Franklin Roosevelt forty-five years ago. From the start, this mammoth enterprise has been indefatigably researched and brilliantly written."
--Ronald Brownstein, TLS (Times Literary Supplement), August 9, 2002
"This will not be an unbiased review. The first two volumes of Robert
Caro's biography of Lyndon B. Johnson were astounding in their sweep,
magisterial and gripping, and I have waited impatiently almost 12 years
for volume three. As if it were possible, "Master of the Senate" takes
what was already an outstanding multi-volume series on to a still higher plane.
It is, quite simply, the finest biography I have ever read or could ever
imagine reading. It is more than that: it is one of the finest works of
literature I have encountered, or ever hope to."
--Stephen Pollard, THE NEW STATESMAN, September 2, 20002
"...there is a foursquare integrity about this project allied to
Caro's high talents as a writer which compels the awed admiration even of the
"If ever the proposition about genius as the taking of infinite pains was relevant, it is surely here. If scholarship, psychological acumen and compulsive readability are the true indices of the great biography, the three volumes to date must rant as the greatest political biography ever written."
--The Glasgow Herald, September 7, 2002
"No political biography
comes close to measuring up to Robert Caro on LBJ...
"With the risk-taking that betokens literary genius, Caro sidesteps beginning the book with Johnson (who does not arrive till page 111). Instead he gives us a vivid history of the Senate and its noble if lack-lustre ways -- the stage that the novice Senator from Texas must learn to dominate on his road to the presidency. Here in the Senate lobby, power is currency and he racist Southern cabal have cornered the market."
--George Kerevan,THE SCOTTSMAN, September 14, 2002,
"Amazingly, after more than 1,100 pages, Mr. Caro leaves the reader wanting more. By the time he is done with his fourth and presumably final volume he may have written the longest biography of any modern political figure besides Churchill. He will also have written one of the best."
"This captivating work consolidates Caro's reputation as the
pre-eminent political biographer of the past century..."
--London: "The Big Issue", August 26, 2002
· The Scotsman, September 14, 2002
· The Times, April 25, 2002