Epub read Means of Ascent BY Robert A. Caro – chiangshistory.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fauna Und Flora Der Adria; Ein Systematischer Meeresführer Für Biologen Und Naturfreunde In Der Gemeinschaft dHer youth and one of them notes that Lady Bird was a person who had always planned to marry a man with power a man going places She wasn t going to settle for a man of low ambitions Though Caro oftenescribes Lady Bird as a sort of maid in waiting to a bossy Ethics in Criminal Justice demanding LBJ his chapter on Lady Bird shows that far from being a mereoormat she was a brilliant Brink of Passion (Alpine Woods Shifters, determined person who aided and championed Johnson s rise to power and was a valuable supportive ally through all of Johnson s good and bad timesThe controversial stolen senate election of 1948 is the book s predominant focus Caro hasone some stealthy snooping to get the Life 3.0 definitive truth about this suspect election This is both the book s strongest and weakest section IMHOIt is strong because it reads as if one is watching a greatrama with a malevolent force Johnson using modern campaign techniues he visits Texas towns by helicopter a stunning spectacle in 1948 and uses statewide media especially radio to campaign Coke Stevenson his opponent and front runner simply The Cottage drives from town to town talking to small groups of voters the old fashioned wayThe story of how the election is stolen makes the Bush Gore fiasco of 2000 look like a grammar school election in some podunk town in flyover country For those of you who are foreigners or unfamiliar with American vernacular flyover country is anywhere in the United States that is not metropolitan New York City Los Angeles maybe San Francisco and Boston and DC and Seattle Miami and Las Vegas are excluded as flyover rabble Most flyover people wear red caps voted for Trump and are fortunately unable to readJohnson with the aid of his rich backers steals the election in a conclusion so powerful it makes the political writings of Theodore H White a noted political writer specializing in chronicling elections seem like sixth grade essays from those few literate flyovers capable of writing Ion t want to give away too much except to say that this election proved a couple things 1 LBJ would go to any lengths to win an election 2 Without the brilliant legal mind of Abe Fortas and Johnson s balls of steel LBJ may have ended his Circles of Healing days as an Austin used car salesman 3 Johnsonespite his proclivity to tell tall tales believed by no one was extremely concerned about his reputation and appearance and standing in every aspect of his lifeOnto the book s weakness Stevenson is cast as the hero in this tale and portrayed as a man of such moral probity and goodness that compared to Coke Albert Schweitzer would be a Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations depraved serial killer Coke is the prototypical self made American man who rose from a poor family to establish a perilouselivery business as a teenager while studying on long hard nights under a light held by an angel First he studied finance and moved from fording Deluge (Shifter Chronicles, dangerous streams with wagon loads of much needed goods for remote country folk to working in a bank while reading law in the late evenings His main goal in life was to buy a ranch and spend hisays working it while practicing a bit of law His assiduous study pays off as he passed the bar and apprenticed under a skilled and experienced attorney Coke s love of the US Constitution was so powerful that by comparison the great Supreme Court Justice John Marshall was a seditious traitor Coke realizes his Bowie (Sin's Bastards MC Book 4) (English Edition) dream buys his ranch marries the love of his life and begins ranching and lawyering not a real word and being a good citizen by spending his nights protecting his fellow ranchers from cattle rustlers He was a man with no political ambitions but is so respected by his fellow citizens that he is cajoled into running for various state offices leading up to two terms as Texas governor He was undefeated in 12 elections prior to facing LBJ and a few others in theemocratic Senatorial primary He won the last gubernatorial election with a mere 85% of the vote After serving his two terms Coke retired to his ranch to Enchantments dig post holes in the rocky soil of his ranchThisepiction of Coke as the exemplar of morality and goodness juxtaposed by the portrait of LBJ as a venal vote stealing sociopath The Definitive Guide to Prostate Cancer diminished the book IMO though not enough for me to withdraw my five star rating It siminishing because I think it fails to give an adeuate estimation of both menJohnson once uipped The very fact a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of character Could politician have been substituted for newspaper reporter One of Caro s themes in his books seems to be that the very act of seeking power necessarily involves the power seeker to capitulate to malign forces and at times compromise his values should he have themCoke Stevenson was a man who had run for office twelve times in Texas and twice had held the highest elected office in the state He was a man with flaws and a keen political sensibility Caro fails to mention any of those flaws and thus the reader learns about a Coke who is almost too good to be human In critiues I ve read of the book several reviewers point out that Coke was known in Texas as Calculatin Coke and I m guessing if Caro had interviewed African Americans in various parts of Texas some of them might view Coke in uite opposite ways than the Coke presented to us in Means of Ascent Coke was a racist in other words as has been pointed out by Matt in his magnificent review This was also noted in the critiues I read of the book and one reviewer cited a irect uote from Coke uring his reign as governor where a black man had been lynched and Coke was urged by a US Attorney as governor where a black man had been lynched and Coke was urged by a US Attorney prosecute the white men suspected in the lynching Coke s response was along the lines that Some Negroes get what they Fearless and Free deserve and heeclined to have the lynching investigated Coke was also supported by the Dixiecrats in the election a far right group of politicos who ran racist Strom Thurmond for President in the 48 election Caro mentions this but ownplays it and implies that Coke received their endorsement solely because the Dixiecrats perceived Coke as the lesser of the two evilsIt s also interesting that the lesser of the two evilsIt s also interesting that s wealthy political backer Herman Brown whom Johnson had helped make even richer escribed him as being in favor of improving the lives of black people Johnson id not vote this way but apparently he was open in admitting he favored better treatment of African Americans at a time when Texas had regular lynchings and maltreatment of someone ue to skin color was simply the order of the ay Further Johnson based on past journalistic accounts I have read had always been a champion of black civil rights but could not openly state this as it would have meant eath for his political career Reports I have read indicate that Johnson when traveling around Texas would Love Storm (Russian series/Kuzan Family, do seemingly innocuous things like casually approach a black hotel porter and ask How are things goingown here for your people A colleague may have seen Johnson talking to the porter and assumed he was giving instructions for his bags Johnson used surreptitious ways to sound out some oppressed minoritiesCaro s assiduous research allows him to Handbook of Kidney Transplantation dig up Johnson scandals like his techniue of using local supporters to spread malicious rumors about Stevenson one being that Coke was a champion of big labor and a communist pawn who planned to repeal the Taft Hartley Act after being electedhttpsenwikipediaorgwikiTaft%E2Amazingly NO uestionable campaign maneuvers are ever mentioned in Coke s camp Perhaps there were none but I wonder how muchigging Caro Safe Word is Devils Snare did to find out It is rather hard to believe that Coke s racial views wouldn t have been widely known but Caro made no attempt to present this less than savory side of the man because too so would have lessened the power of his good versus evil story lineIn sum this is an excellent book full of what readers have come to expect from Robert Caro Interesting asides that add richness and texture to his writing and clear Hard as You Can (Hard Ink, detailed explanations of complex matters that include new insights and factual accounts that could only have been obtained through laborious research The book s account of the stolen election would likely be upheld in any court in the land asamning testimony Most historians are going to write accounts of a particular person or event and either consciously or inadvertently are going to interject their personal prejudices and opinions of that person or event In this respect Caro is no Sylvan Summer Smart Workbook different from most writers of history and biography I recommend Means of Ascent as an important connecting link in the complicated life of Lyndon Baines Johnson a complicated man At the same time I suggest the Trial of Temepl Anneke discerning reader conduct a bit of side research to investigate the political life of the noble and saintly Coke Stevenson A platform he said in hisry way was like a Mother Hubbard A Parliament of Bodies (The Maradaine Constabulary, dress it covered everything and touched nothing Platforms and campaign promises were meaningless politicians issued them or made them and then as soon as they were elected forgot them Robert A Caro Means of Ascent uoting Coke Stephenson This was aifferent book from Caro s Vol 1 of the Years of Lyndon Johnson The Path to Power The Path to Power Mom is Pregnant; A Short Story of Incest and Pregnancy detailed the rise and early history of LBJ It set the table It showed LBJ as a boy showed the Hill Country Itescribed his father so much of LBJ can be explained by his complicated relationship to his father It moved through LBJ s college career early political connections and how all the attributes that made LBJ who he was were formed It ended as LBJ lost the 1941 election for the US Senate to W Lee O Daniel He basically had the election out stolen from him He lost focus too soon This book starts off with LBJ s brief stint in the Navy after Pearl Harbor his attempt and failure to move up in DC with FDR with Truman in congress with the Party He was stuck So it moves on to LBJ using the power he had to buy a radio station in Austin One that would later be the source of his and Lady Bird s enormous wealth it is amazing how many of our politicos enter DC rich and leave uite rich The last half of the book The Diary of Dolly Lunt Burge, 1848-1879 details the 1948 Senate election when LBJ ran against Coke Stephenson for the Texas Senate seat At this point it becomes almost aual biography One of opposites Coke was old school honest thoughtful popular low key In many ways he resembled LBJ s father Caro never said it Women Scientists in America directly but in many ways heidn t need to LBJ s character was formed as a reaction to his father s unwillingness to get into the gutter LBJ was all ends He would use whatever MEANS were reuired And in 1948 that meant MONEY and corruption Anyway it was hard to Johns Hopkins decide to give this 5 stars It wasn t as impressive a book in some ways as Vol 1 However it was beautiful I loved reading about Coke Coke was a good counterbalance to LBJ s style But it is hard too not to admire LBJ s work ethic and his ability to take enormous risks and sometimes his brilliant ability to read and use peopleThe book is also a lesson on how we are also suckered by the exact things we think we want badly I m pretty sure the men who boughtbrought LBJ into office certainly loved some of the things heid but I m not sure they would ever have thought their Man would eventually pass the Civil Rights Act and much of his great society agenda Eventually many would come to regret their man LBJ was never anyone s man To say that Means of Ascent Harms Way does not reach the towering heights of Caro s first volume of his Years of Lyndon Johnson is no slight Path to Power is one of the greatest feats of biography I ve ever read The only reason Means falls short is because it happens towell on LBJ s wilderness years This was the time between his first failed senate run uring a special election and his second successful senate run which culminated in the famed 87 votes that changed America During these 7 years LBJ the ambitious over weaning Butt Kissing Glad Handing kissing glad handing cajoling cheating adulterous power seeker was backed into a corner His flamboyant traits were iminished as he came up against an imposing barrier the seniority rules of the House of Representatives LBJ as one of 435 members of the US House was neutered His 11 year career was inauspicious and to put it bluntly a little A Story of Yhwh depressing He made no speeches asked no uestions introduced only 7 bills of which only 2 became law He spent a little time grabbing for money through a radio station he owned but other than this secondary ambition to be rich he mostly stewed in the belief that he wouldie before gaining his ultimate goal to be president Means lacks the first volume s great arc from Hill County bumpkin to Roosevelt favorite It also lacks the great side story of Alice Glass and Charles Marsh as LBJ sacrificed the great love of his life to his all consuming Bipolar Disorder drive for the White House Means alsorips with Caro s Beijing Jeep disgust for this version of LBJ It is almost unconcealed and seldom softened LBJ is not only crass and unscrupled but what is worse he has no moral compass No beliefs Caro paints him as the ultimate chameleon However as Caro notes in his forward to volume 3 LBJ was shifting throughout his life in order to gain power The great uestion then was what he wouldo with that power once gained It is how LBJ finally used his capital that ultimately proves the measure of this man it is this story that awaits the further volumes Means has much to offer As in volume 1 when Caro raised Sam Rayburn to mythic status a Graphical Methods for Data Analysis different hero is presented to stand athwart and in constrast to LBJ This is Coke Stevenson whom Caro flirting withemagoguery calls a legend Stevenson comes off as almost impossibly good However his story is incredibly touching and Caro never fails to Iraq deliver the human elements In all his books he manages toelve into the personal Ford details thatrove the great men and women of our times He wrote beautifully of Sam Rayburn s loneliness and shyness in volume 1 here he gives us Coke the self made man honorable and tough who studied late into the night by light of candle Coke who lost his first wife and late in life found love once again Coke who Spartan didn t know how to steal an election Caro has a way of shaping history to suit his narrative which is both enjoyable to read and capable of stretching reality Coke is positioned as the exact opposite of the venal sneaky LBJ In the 48 election LBJ runs for the senate against Coke LBJ pulls out all the stops He gets in his bubble helicopter and flies around Texas He makes speeches and shakes hands till his voice is gone and his hands are bleeding He campaigns till exhaustion Then when that isn t enough he cheats It is this section of the book that is most enlightening Caro proves beyond a shadow of aoubt that LBJ with the help of border boss George Parr out and out stole the senate election It s a fascinating tail filled with esperadoes and bandits and shady suint eyed men oing business in the shadows the business being the buying and selling of Mexican American votes There is even a cameo by future Supreme Court jurist Abe Fortas who stops a federal judge from opening contested ballot boxes The end result of course is that LBJ gets to the senate The book ends appropriately enough with Coke Stevenson retiring nobly to his ranch with his new love to fade into history We are left with an image of LBJ as Caro frankly says an immoral man and Coke as an honorable Man of the West I thought this book was excellent but I have to add an addendum thank God LBJ stole that election History may show that Coke never stole an election but it also shows and Caro FAILS to mention that he Rise of the Hellion (Foxblood, didn t care one whit for blacks It was LBJ at the end of theay who took a lifetime s worth of accumulated power and spent it on the Great Society a package of program that Read, Write, Edit did for civil rights than any event in history short of Lee s surrender at Appomattox History is funny that way it offers redemption at every turn. Rumor which Johnson had to win or face certain politicaleath and which he id win by the 87 votes that changed history Caro makes us witness to a momentous turning point in American politics the tragic last stand of the old politics versus the new the politics of issue versus the politics of image mass manipulation money and electronic azz. Means of AscentThe second volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson tells the story of LBJ s rise from a mere Congressman one with little hope for significant advancement to his unlikely election to the US Senate The majority of the pages American Legal History describe Johnson s relentless ruthless expensive andishonest campaign against former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson for the 1948 Democratic nomination which Johnson officially but far from legitimately won by 87 votesTexas at the time was a one party state with the one party being the Democratic party so in statewide races the winner of the Democratic party nomination was all but guaranteed to win the general election exactly like my home state except with the single party being the Republican party When the popular honest and honorable Governor Stevenson entered the race for the open Texas Senate seat it was presumed by most all Texans that he would be the nominee and the next Senator from TexasBut Lyndon Johnson a man to whom winning meant everything had other ideas With a near unlimited amount of campaign money at his The Evolution of Technology disposal and connections to some of the most powerful and often corrupt local leaders Johnson was able to very literally steal the election for himselfThe story of how this wasone is absolutely fascinating The ability of Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Caro to Objective PET Students Book with Answers [With CDROM] describe in such amazingetail the political maneuverings and the interwoven lives and activities of all the players kept me enthralled from start to finish The Years of Lyndon Johnson is so much than just a biography As the author explains From the first time I thought of becoming a biographer I never conceived of my biographies as merely telling the lives of famous men but rather as a means of illuminating their times and the great forces that shaped their times particularly political power since in a Ethan Marcus Stands Up democracy political power has so great a role in shaping the lives of the citizens of thatemocracy What I set out to try to Matti In the Wallet do was to examine the way power works in America in the middle of the twentieth century Mr Caro fully achieved his goal with this book Means of Ascent The Years of Lyndon Johnson is the second volume in Robert Caro s series covering the life of Lyndon B Johnson Caro is a former investigative reporter and the author of two Pulitzer Prize winning biographies Master of the Senate the third volume in this series and The Power Broker about the life of Robert Moses Caro is currently working on the fifth and presumably final volume in his LBJ seriesPublished in 1990 Means of Ascent covers sevenifficult years of LBJ s life from shortly after his 1941 loss in a special election for the US Senate while a congressman to his controversial 1948 Senate victory over f Pamela Paul editor of the NYT Book review gave me the idea to completely read The Years of Lyndon Johnson I am reading them slowly mostly at night or in the morning after night shift before I go to sleep This shortish volume took 4 months and I have the next one ready to go I am loving them not only for the Raised in Captivity deepive into the life of this morally challenged small town Texan who became President but for the explanation of the machinations that guided mid 20th century politics Robert Caro is an amazing researcher and writer who makes you want to read his Think (Ars Lamina) Level 2 Workbook detailed lengthy volumes even knowing how they end I know perfectly well how Lyndon Johnson s life turned out yet I was urgently turning the pages as his 1948 run for the Senate played out its sordid finish in this second volume of Robert Caro s monumental biography A biography researched andocumented yes but a narrative stranger than fiction Means of Ascent covers seven years of Johnson s life comprising his brief and greatly aggrandized career in the Navy in World War II and the beginnings of his considerable fortune through ownership of Austin radio station KTBC which was held in his wife s name but closely monitored by Johnson and benefitting from his useful contacts in and out of governmentBut the second half of the book is the Two Brothers, One Tail dramatic heart of this book which is considerably shorter than his other volumes just over 400 pages Caro wisely chose to end the installment with Johnson s accession to the Senate and future volumes will turn to his powerful Washington careerBut how he got there The mendacity of the 1948 Johnson effort is the story of vote buying ballot box stuffing and courtroom theatrics But the campaign was also a study in electioneering styles LBJ needled and goaded but his opponent the popular former governor Coke Stevenson never revealed a platform nor responded to the obvious lies LBJ was telling He simply said he keep taxes Woman Much Missed down and uphold the constitution he refused toignify the charges Johnson was bringing by responding to them It was a mistake and his old fashioned campaign style allowed Johnson to make Why Americas Top Pundits Are Wrong dramatic inroads into Stevenson s considerable lead with votersThe final gap in votes was covered by the people who controlled the voting in the valley south of San Antonio The Mexican American residents in Duval and Jim Wells counties rarely cast their own votes but this time their votes were cast overwhelmingly for Johnson and reported sixays after the election The resulting challenges and courtroom ramas finally put Johnson into his Senate seat with a margin of 87 votes The infamous ballot box 13 from Jim Wells County went missing and poll results went missingCaro s preface to Means of Ascent makes reference to the extraordinary civil rights triumphs of the 1960s surely to acknowledge what many people believe to be Johnson s most important legacy But that is in the future and how Johnson achieved his toehold is a be Johnson s most important legacy But that is in the future and how Johnson achieved his toehold is a for the ages Caro the historian igs and unearths then Caro the storyteller grabs the reader and won t let go What was I thinking I have read every word Caro has written but I had imagined I could skip this one because nothing really happened and I already read the over 200o pages of the Johnson series But I had forgotten why I had been reading THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE IT in the first place It t about plot or to find out what happened or idn t happen to Johnson It was to read Caro write Duh The man is the best writer I ve ever read and I have fully atoned for my error in believing that it was a good idea to skip a book In fact I was so parched for Caro that I read the introduction to this book 3 times just to relish the brilliance of the master It is an utter How to Train a Cowboy delight to read about Johnson s corruption in this narrative It is not just about the man but it is about politics human nature and American history Bravo May he live to finish the series In reading Caro s second volume of the LBJ biography series I was completely blown away While some call it the lesser exciting of Caro s first two volumesepicting LBJ s Texas life and early congressional years I felt that it helped shape the image of the president I knew from the history books Means of Ascent is by no means a shrinking violet in the literary world though its action One Special Moment does perhaps pale when placed against its older sibling Path to Power Still Caro brings to life those years that bridge the lead up to his arrival on Capitol Hill and his arrival in the Senate where he made a national name for himself From falsified war stories to his campaign and complete robbery of the 1948 Democratic primary for the US Senate And here I thought Dewey wins was the 1 story in the 1948 election cycleCaro pulls no punches appearing to side only with the truth and that which the record reflects rather than cozying up to the famed LBJ We learn a greateal about the chain smoking ill tempered LBJ as the story progresses from his arrival on the scene as a congressman and his failed attempt at the Senate in 1941 The reader will than likely not leave this volume with a strong feeling that the hometown son will vanuish his foesWhat stunned me most in this volume perhaps in the entire biography up to this point is the story read saga surrounding the 1948 US Senate election and LBJ s attempts to and success at steal the Democratic primary by any means necessary Caro makes this election campaign the poignant part of this volume spending a great A Touch of Persuasion (Men Of Wolff Mountain deal of time on the issue and looking at it both inepth and from a variety of perspectives Not being American I was not as aware of his moment is history as some may be and it seems the US media really picked up on it after LBJ s Watch for Me by Moonlight (The Midnight Twins, death in 1973 but the 87 votes that changed the world really is a key event in both the progression of this biography and the life of LBJ For as it is said many times had he lost and actually beeneclared the loser his limelight would surely have burnt out and left others to fill the void It was with this victory that his way to greatness and infamy on the national political scene was pavedI cannot express how impressed I am with this book and the progression of this series As I enter the third book longest and probably the most powerful as we examine LBJ in the Senate I cannot wait to see what Caro reveals and what history has to say about this powerful man who will The Mommy Makeover do anything to get what he wants This is the second volume of four thus far in Robert Caro s magisterial biography of former president Lyndon B Johnson It treats the period from mid 1941 when Johnson lost a special election for the US Senate through 1948 when Johnson won election to the Senate in a hotly contested and heatedlyisputed primary election Johnson was crushed by his loss in 1941 and believed that the election had been stolen from him by an opponent who was clever than he He vowed it would never happen again Months after that The Convicts Bounty Bride (Convict Wives defeat Johnson was still a sitting congressmen when World War II began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor In campaigning for the Senate in 1941 Johnson had promised Texas voters that if he voted to send their sons to war he would leave the Senate and be out in the trenches with them Once war waseclared Johnson thus found himself in a bind because he had absolutely no interest in being in the trenches or anywhere else other than in the Congress As means of finessing the situation Johnson reuested a leave from the Congress He had earlier enrolled as a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve and now left the Congress to go on active A River of Royal Blood (Untitled, duty in California and elsewhere far from any fightingJohnson knew though that his political career would be imperiled if heid not see some action especially in light of the promise he had made Thus he ultimately arranged to get to Australia and then to go on a single combat mission as an observer not as a combatant flying on a B 26 bomber The bomber came under enemy fire from Japanese Zeros but returned safely to its base Another bomber in the flight was shot First Blood downHaving seen this action Johnson returned home and fairly uickly thereafter to hisuties in the House of Representatives But in the years following he continued to embellish the story of his combat experience until it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the action that had actually occurred Johnson also managed to win a Silver Cross simply for being a passenger on a plane that had come under enemy fire and he wore it proudly for years thereafter as he boasted of his heroic wartime actionsHaving The Palliser Novels disposed of Johnson s war record Caro then goes on to recount how Johnson established the foundation of the fortune he would accumulate in the coming years by taking over a small struggling radio station The station and the others to follow were technically owned by Johnson s wife Lady Bird and Johnson always insisted that the radio empire was hers alone and that he had nothing too with it Caro uickly Men And Gods In Mongolia demolishes that story as well andemonstrates that Johnson was actively involved in the radio business from the start and strongly suggests that Johnson perhaps improperly used his political influence to grow his fortune in this regardCaro Hunter Killer (Pike Logan devotes the bulk of the book though to Johnson s second effort to win election to the Senate this in 1948 It s not a pretty picture and resembles nothing remotely approaching the innocent picture ofemocracy in action that we all learned in grade school civics classes In a nutshell Caro believes that this election was make or break for Lyndon Johnson He had to give up his congressional seat in order to run for the Senate and Caro argues that if Johnson had lost the election his career in politics would have been finished That point is arguable though Johnson was still a relatively young man in 1948 and certainly had he wanted to he could have pursued other political options Caro is also convinced that Johnson blatantly stole the election and Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, does everything he can to marshal the evidence in favor of his case while ignoring anything that might argue against it Caro says that he initially intended to cover the election in only a single chapter but he was apparently so incensed by the story that instead heevoted three uarters of this volume to itAs is the case with his other books Caro has The Friend Zone done prodigious research into the topic The problem it seems to me lies in the way he has used that research For example much of the book rests on oral interviews One gets the impression that Caro must have talked to anyone who ever even passed Johnson on the street from the time Johnson was born until theay he Flying Scotsman Manual diedThe problem though is that Caro seems all too willing to take at face value any criticism that anyone has to offer of Johnson If on the other hand someone might say something nice about the man Caro often stops to present a counter argument suggesting that the compliment perhaps was noteserved The over arching problem of Caro s treatment of the election though is that he sees this as a contest of black and white good versus evil virtue against vice with no middle ground apparently possible Johnson is clearly the guy in the black hat and his principal opponent Coke Stevenson is crowned with the white hatGiven the nature of Texas politics in the late 1940s winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to winning the election Several candidates ran for the Senate seat in the primary with Stevenson leading the pack and Johnson coming in second But Stevenson Alpha (Shifters, did not win a majority of the vote and so had to face Johnson in a runoff election In the second election Johnson emerged the winner by a scant total of eighty seven votes Caro argues that the outcome was the result of unprecedented electoral fraud never before seen even in TexasIn order to make Johnson appear as crooked as possible Caro resorts to turning his opponent Coke Stevenson into a sainted hero of the Old West a man of the people humble wise simple and honest beyond reproach He waxes on at length about Stevenson s virtues noting at one point that He loved the law that he had taught himself on the ranch loved it as he loved his land loved it with an intensity soeep it was almost religious believed in its majesty its power to right a wrongThe only problem with Caro s Whalerider depiction of Stevenson is that few if any other historians would recognize it The Coke Stevensonescribed by many other observers was a small minded reactionary an advocate of states rights who Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex distrusted government the federal government in particular an isolationist and a racist as well As governor of Texas Stevenson had slashed spending for social services He was very critical of a Supreme Courtecision in 1944 that expanded black voting rights in Texas and said regarding a lynching in Texarkana that certain members of the Negro race from time to time furnish the setting for mob violence by the outrageous crimes which they commit Ol Coke was a bit generous toward Mexicans noting that Meskins is pretty good folks If it was niggers it Graphic Design For Everyone d beifferent But this is a far cry from the Stevenson that Caro portrays and when challenged on this score Caro insists that the portrait of Stev. Robert A Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson which began with the greatly acclaimed The Path to Power also winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award continues one of the richest most intensive and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President In Means of Ascent the Pulitzer Prize winning biographerhistorian chronicler Enson that others now take as gospel results from the fact that they are perpetuating the lies that Johnson and his supporters spread about Stevenson Considering Kate (The Stanislaskis, during the election But these kinds of criticisms had been made of Stevenson long before 1948 as had allegations that he was in bed with the oil interests though this is hardly a uniue charge in Texas politics Well before 1948 Stevenson had earned the nickname Calculatin Coke which was not always intended as a complimentCarooes admit almost grudgingly that Johnson Sweetland displayed great leadership skills as he marshaled his forcesuring the election contest that he raised huge sums of money to finance his campaign that he worked himself to the bone and that he conducted what would become the first modern political campaign in Texas historyStevenson campaigned in the old fashioned way Art of Laurel and Hardy driving around Texas talking to voters wherever he could find them in a very low keyed effort Johnson on the other hand barnstormed the state in helicopters using advance me to line up crowds and making heavy use of radio newspapers and other media Irrespective of who should have won the election even Caro is forced to admit that Johnson out worked out thought and ultimately out maneuvered Stevenson But it s almost as if Caro thinks that Johnson wasn t being fair to the old boy that instead of flying around the state meeting as many voters as he possibly could Johnson should have been knocking around Texas in an old beater pickup talking to people one at a time as a show ofeference to his older opponentIn the end in Caro s view the runoff election was Hers To Cherish (Verdantia, decided by several thousand votes that were manipulated in Johnson s favor in a few south Texas counties principally Duval which was under the firm control of political boss George Parr the Duke of Duval A common tactic in Texas elections at the time was for candidates to withhold votes from counties they controlled and then report them as needed correcting and updating the totals often for severalays after the election was supposedly over as they watched the votes reported from areas that favored their opponents Parr was a master at this tactic and the precincts under his thumb very often produced huge lopsided vote totals for the candidates that Parr favoredIn this case Parr favored Johnson and at the very last moment when the election seemed clearly The Intelligent Entrepreneur decided in Stevenson s favor Duval County reported 202 new votes 200 for Johnson and 2 for Stevenson This flipped the election in Johnson s favor by 87 votes a total that withstood challenges in several arenas and which earned Johnson the nickname Landslide LyndonNaturally Stevenson and Caro screamed Fraud Both claim that the election was stolen from the rightful winner One would expect this from Stevenson but one would also expect aispassionate argument from an allegedly neutral historian The problem with Caro s account is that he focuses exclusively on the electoral manipulations perpetrated by the Johnson camp and totally ignores the claims of fraud that were made against Stevenson by Johnson and others Certainly Stevenson s supporters were manipulating votes as well correcting and updating their totals for several The Summer of the Ubume days just as the Johnson camp wasoingMoreover Caro leaves the reader with the impression that Parr the Duke of Duval was clearly in Johnson s pocket Others though have argued that the only political fortunes that Parr was concerned with were his own He backed the candidate that he though would most benefit his own interests and in this case that candidate was JohnsonCaro also neglects to mention that previously the Duke s candidate had been Coke Stevenson In the three elections prior to 1948 Parr had furnished votes out of Duval County favoring Stevenson over his opponents by 3643 to 141 2936 to 77 and 3310 to 17 Ironically Stevenson Distracted - Acting Edition did not consider these returns to be suspicious and not surprisingly heid not challenge themBut in his last term as governor Stevenson took actions that angered Parr and the Duke took his revenge in 1948 by Trauma heilen delivering similarly lopsided margins to Johnson Suddenly now the vote totals out of Duval Countyid seem suspect to Stevenson and he screamed bloody murder but to no avail Robert Caro continues to scream bloody murder on Stevenson s behalf but his argument rings a bit false because of the way in which Caro has chosen to use the evidence he has collected I ve never been a fan of Lyndon Johnson but you hardly have to love the guy to think that he Developing Resilient Organizations deserved even handed treatment than he gets from Caro on this subjectUltimately the only thing that seems perfectly clear in all of this is that politics in Texas in the late 1940s was a cesspool and that anyone who wanted to play the game had toive into it As Caro makes very clear certainly fraudulent votes were added to Johnson s total As he is less willing to admit fraudulent votes also inflated Stevenson s totals and it s impossible to know which of the candidates might have won an election conducted along the lines of the aforementioned civics lessonPerhaps the last word in all of this might best go to former Austin mayor and Johnson supporter Tom Miller who later said They were stealin votes in east Texas We were stealin votes in south Texas Only Jesus Christ could say who actually won it Only 488 prior reviews of the second volume of Caro s LBJ bio The major etails of this relatively slim book in comparison to the other 3 volumes have been hashed and rehashed I m hoping to craft an arresting and apposite summation volumes have been hashed and rehashed I m hoping to craft an arresting and apposite summation to stand beside the many great reviews preceding me Not sure I have the chops to o it but what the hellI ended up liking this book a bit even than Caro s first volume The Path to Power In this second volume Caro really seemed to hit his stride as a writer This book GameMaker Essentials describes a period of forced uiescence in Johnson s life his so called Wilderness Years and I have the attention span of a gnat so by rights this book should have supplanted my nightly Ambien as a soporific Insteadue to Caro s magnificent writing and ability to craft a story *Line There Were Some Nights This Book *there were some nights this book my sleeping pill and kept me riveted It is rud that many people especially celebrities Singing the Kyrgyz Manas do or say strange things while on Ambien so if I interject any inappropriate remarks please realize my review notes were scribbled at times in an Ambien haze when I was non compos mentisIn Means of Ascent Caro begins by rehashing a bit of the info he presented in volume I thus ensuring a smooth transition and providing a bit of background for contrarians who insist on reading books out of order The gist of the book can be summed up in a few paragraphs Johnson in a rare political blunder was outfoxed by his opponent in his 1941 US Senate campaign This wasone by Johnson being confident of victory releasing his vote tally early on the eve of the election thus giving his opponent Texas governor W Lee Pappy O Daniel the opportunity to steal the election via payoffs to party bosses who controlled huge blocks of minority voters especially in South Texas an area with a huge Mexican American population Johnson was shamed that his opponent had stolen the election from him but he was still a US Congressman and had to campaign for that office Additionally the senate election in 1941 was to fill a vacant position and there would be another senate election in July of 1942 and Johnson was confident he could win this election and redeem himself This redemption was nixed however when President Roosevelt backed another candidate who had already been slotted for the senate seat in the 1942 election Despite his loss and stymied senate run LBJ continued to enjoy the special attention from President Roosevelt Johnson resumed an active social life in Washington and was a popular host at parties he would hold for friends and acuaintances One acuaintance future US Supreme Court justice Abe Fortas was to play an important role both later in this book and throughout Johnson s life as a friendconsigliere LBJ s contact with the White House is finally kaput in 1945 after Roosevelt s Witch Way to Murder death Former Senator Harry S Truman now President was a keen observer of men One would expect this since in early life he was a haberdasher a profession reuiring keen observation skills He easily sees through Johnson s persiflage and false bonhomie and Johnson s access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is abruptly curtailedDuring Johnson s failed 1941 Senate campaign when it seemed likely that the US would berawn into the war ensuing in Europe and other locales LBJ had made an adamant campaign promise that should his fellow Texans be called to serve he would be right there in the trenches fighting with them after vacating his Senate seat Johnson fulfills this promise after the outbreak of WW II Most of his brief stint in uniform is spent touring bases on the US West coast He finally finagles a trip to Australia where he joins a B 26 bombing team on a bombing run to a Japanese air base at Lae on the island of New Guinea Johnson Before The Legend does see action as the plane he is riding in his hit and unable to complete the mission and returns to base being pursued by Japanese fighter planes Johnson s plane takes many hits and he reportedly keeps his composure while watching the firefight from a position behind the cockpitJohnson returns to Washington where this story is embellished with each retelling Interestingly Johnson lies even when knowing that those listening will know he is lying One thing critics of Caro have complained about is that Carooes not capture the true Johnson charm and charisma Apparently LBJ had such a command over an audience and such a storytelling talent that listeners enjoyed even his prevarications To those that want a Pagan Babies depiction of LBJ as seen by a writer who worked for him I highly recommend the novella written by former Johnson staffer Billy Lee Brammer The Gay Place a book of 3 novellas with The Flea Circusescribing life working for LBJ Brammer no stranger to aberrant behavior The Joy of Work does a great job of capturing LBJ s manic mix of charm and intimidation Here s a uote from The Gay Placeescribing a young aide s worldview after some experience enduring Johnson named in the book as Arthur Goddamn Fenstemaker a nod to his favorite curse word and a last name the German for window maker an allusion to a man skilled at framing life to suit his needsJay had the uality characteristic of those constantly exposed to Arthur Fenstemaker of having peered steadily at the scene of an accident experienced a revelation seen eath and redemption God and Lucifer staring back and somehow incredibly survivedBrammer captures the life altering impact of working for Johnson in a way that a mere factual historical account could never o During the next six years Johnson s rising Lone Star loses its luster as he serves out his remaining terms in congress in a The Real Truth about Success desultory fashion introducing no significant legislation He remained as cagey as ever never voting for a losing billuring his many years in congressJohnson The IKEA Edge does not come to life again supposedly until the infamous 1948 election for the US Senate in Texas against former Texas governor and full time saint Coke Stevenson This election with Stevenson the heavy favorite in the primary is where the main action in the book takes place Caro proves beyond a shadow of aoubt that Johnson stole the election which he won by 87 votes through a combination of tireless campaigning a huge campaign fund from his millionaire oilconstruction backers and extreme political chicanery involving egregious vote fraud and ballot box stuffingSome of my thoughtsobservations about the book caro is justly known for the book Caro is justly known for thorough and meticulous research Some would say it reaches the point of obsessiveness a charge perhaps justified given that the Johnson bio was originally planned as a trilogy and now is a shelf of 3 very thick volumes and one mid sized volume Means of Ascent with the fifth and final tome expected should Caro not shuffle off this mortal coil before completion Caro has a gift for writing interesting Splish, Splash! digressions that actually serve a purpose of helping to tell his story That said I feel like there was MUCH left unsaid here about this uiet period of Johnson s lifeJohnson was a force majeure People like him reallyo not have uiet periods until they are on their Simple Italian Snacks deathbeds and comatose Yes LBJ may have been in a political wilderness where he had lost his influence with President Roosevelt as FDR was busy with the war and LBJ was also on the outs with his old mentor Sam Rayburn Likewiseue to political changes his power to pull strings and grant favors to his fellow congressmen had wanedCaro is fascinated by power and by people like Robert Moses and LBJ who are masters at obtaining it and using it to sway other people both the powerful and the lumpen proletariat to embrace their Biscuit Meets the Class Pet desires It is thus no coincidence that Means of Ascent has been Caro s shortest work in the Johnson tetralogy It was a period when Johnson had the least political power of his entire career I suspect though that while Caro views this power vacuum period as a time of hamstrungesires LBJ the force of nature undoubtedly was living as he usually had using his tremendous personal charisma to work others to his will I suspect this was a time that Johnson had many gratuitous sexual affairs and found ways to complicate his life outside the political sphere I am also guessing his eye was always on the prize of the 1948 election and that much scheming and planning was already being implemented behind the scenes in preparation what would be Johnson s real war In fairness to Caro I can see why little of this 1942 1948 period is chronicled Johnson had seemingly lost his power and influence and I m having trouble envisioning a Caro Lady Bird interview where Lady Bird casually mentions Well Lyndon was pretty Werewolf Smackdown (Felix Gomez, downuring this time The only thing that kept him going was that he was screwing every young vixen he could get his huge hands on What Caro My Jesus Year doesredge up about this period is that this is the time Johnson turned his energies toward getting rich a goal he valued nearly as much as his ambition to be President To begin what would become a modest media empire Johnson purchased an Austin radio station and put it in Lady Bird s name and she ran the Try This day toay affairs Johnson s media empire was sold for 9 million US The Mistress Diaries (Pembroke Palace, dollars before hiseath a figure euivalent to about 54 million US in 2018 Meanwhile Johnson worked behind the scenes to move the station to a The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl desirable spot on theial and increase its broadcasting range to cover a much wider area of Texas than its low wattage had previously allowed He also maneuvered to get the station affiliated with CBS no small feat The station under Lady Bird s efficient management began making large profits ue to greatly increased advertising revenue profits that would lead to other media acuisitions and serious wealth especially with the advent of television in the 1950 sI was elighted that Caro Dirty Deeds (Mechanics of Love, devoted a chapter of this book to Lady Bird She is an oft overlooked figure in LBJ s larger than life persona She tended to stay in the shadows but in reality she was perhaps Lyndon s biggest champion and most perspicacious advisor I realized this years ago reading the Michael Beshchloss trilogy of LBJ s secret White House tapes I had always thought of Lady Bird as aemure loving but uninvolved spouse Beshchloss s books reveal a Lady Bird with a keen understanding of her husband s political life and LBJ often consulted her for advice on how to handle Infinite Repeat (The Art of Lainey, different people and situations It is obvious from reading the transcriptions of the tapes that Lady Bird was a person of high intelligence who played a crucial role in her husband s life as advisor partner and confidant Caro interviews several suitors from. Lso of Robert Moses in The Power Broker carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election for forty years shrouded in.

Back To Top