Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More on Caro

I'm making my way through volume 3 of Caro's bio of LBJ.  With about 1600 pages of this opus under my belt, I can tell you that I'm getting a little tired of LBJ, and I'll be damned if I don't think Caro is too.  He really gets to swinging when he is writing about Johnson's allies and antagonists.  The section of Coke Stephenson -- Governor of Texas, Mr. Texas -- was brilliant, and the 40 page introduction to Richard Russell, the Senator from Georgia, was also great.  Same with the portrait of Sam Rayburn.  The same thing, honestly, was true of the book on Robert Moses.  You could feel Caro growing tired of his protagonist, a little, while getting excited about the other guys:  Fiorello LaGuardia, even FDR got interesting treatment.

Or maybe it's just me and I'm projecting.  Certainly one can learn a lot about US history in general by reading Caro, even if you have to put up with a lot of detail on the sociopaths that make it chug.

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