It’s hardly breaking or surprising news to say that Robert Caro’s Master of the Senate, a volume of biography covering Lyndon Johnson’s time as Majority Leader of the US Senate, is as brilliant and enjoyable as it is long.
But two particular points may be worth highlighting for anyone else interested in politics who hasn’t yet read it, and is perhaps even put off by the thought of finding the time for its 1,000 plus pages.
One is that this volume isn’t simply a biography of a slice of Lyndon Johnson’s career, it’s also a scintillating history of the US Senate and the way in which power and formal political rules interact. Included in that is a warning of the fallibility of long-term political forecasts with its account of the years when it looked like the Republicans could become the political voice of the African American community propelled in no small part by Richard Nixon.
The second is that an audio version is available – suitable, for example, for listening to when out delivering contemporary political leaflets. Not just available but brilliantly narrated by Grover Gardner. Both author and narrator are lucky to have the other as such a skilled part-creator of the audio book.
If you like this, you might also be interested in All Too Human.
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