Texas Book Festival 2012: Robert Caro
Robert Caro’s name has become synonymous with the study of the life and times of Lyndon Baines Johnson. In his most recent book about LBJ’s life, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4, Caro covers the years from 1958-1964. During that time, Johnson moves from the Senate, to the Vice Presidency, and ultimately to the Presidency.
Caro details the tumultuous relationship between John F. Kennedy and LBJ during their years in the Senate together. Johnson agreed to be Kennedy’s Vice President in a calculated move to better position himself for the Presidency. Caro says for a man who wielded enormous power in Washington from his days as Senate Majority Leader, Johnson was miserable serving as Vice President:
John Kennedy is going to make sure that Lyndon Johnson has no power as Vice President. And he really does make sure of that. Johnson is humiliated and powerless.
It’s a terrible, poignant time – Johnson’s three years as Vice President. You just feel sad writing about it, because he’s a man without power in a city – Washington – where
the only thing that matters is power.
Robert Caro is speaking Saturday afternoon, October 27, at the Texas Book Festival at the State Capitol in Austin.