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S spread about Stevenson during the election But these kinds f criticisms had been made DIY, Dammit!: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting of Stevenson long before 1948 as had allegations that he was in bed with theil 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 complimentCaro does admit almost grudgingly that Johnson displayed great leadership skills as he marshaled his forces during the election contest that he raised huge sums f 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 ld fashioned way driving around Texas talking to voters wherever he could find them in a very low keyed effort Johnson n the ther hand barnstormed the state in helicopters using advance me to line up crowds and making heavy use Civil rights, tool of communist deception of radio newspapers andther media Irrespective f who should have won the election even Caro is forced to admit that Johnson ut worked Cutthroat out thought and ultimatelyut maneuvered Stevenson But it s almost as if Caro thinks that Johnson wasn t being fair to the An Eastern Orthodox Response to Evangelical Claims old boy that insteadf flying around the state meeting as many voters as he possibly could Johnson should have been knocking around Texas in an The Claiming of the Shrew old beater pickup talking to peoplene at a time as a show Summoned of deference to hislder pponentIn the end in Caro s view the runoff election was 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 f political boss George Parr the Duke f 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 ften for several days after the election was supposedly Baghdad, Mon Amour: A Journey of Exile and Return over as they watched the votes reported from areas that favored theirpponents Parr was a master at this tactic and the precincts under his thumb very Dead Inside 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 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 butne would also expect a dispassionate argument from an allegedly neutral historian The problem with Caro s account is that he focuses exclusively n the electoral manipulations perpetrated by the Johnson camp and totally ignores the claims f fraud that were made against Stevenson by Johnson and The Taste of Spruce Gum others Certainly Stevenson s supporters were manipulating votes as well correcting and updating their totals for several days just as the Johnson camp was doingMoreover Caro leaves the reader with the impression that Parr the Dukef Duval was clearly in Johnson s pocket Others though have argued that the nly political fortunes that Parr was concerned with were his wn He backed the candidate that he though would most benefit his She Stoops to Conquer 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 votesut Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile of Duval County favoring Stevensonver his Orb opponents by 3643 to 141 2936 to 77 and 3310 to 17 Ironically Stevenson did not consider these returns to be suspicious and not surprisingly he did not challenge themBut in his last term as governor Stevenson took actions that angered Parr and the Duke took his revenge in 1948 by delivering similarly lopsided margins to Johnson Suddenly now the vote totalsut The Dandy and Lady Penelope of Duval County did seem suspect to Stevenson and he screamed bloody murder but to no avail Robert Caro continues to scream bloody murdern Stevenson s behalf but his argument rings a bit false because f the way in which Caro has chosen to use the evidence he has collected I ve never been a fan f Lyndon Johnson but you hardly have to love the guy to think that he deserved even handed treatment than he gets from Caro Multi-Family Therapy on this subjectUltimately thenly thing that seems perfectly clear in all National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition of this is that politics in Texas in the late 1940s was a cesspool and that anyone who wanted to play the game had to dive 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 whichf the candidates might have won an election conducted along the lines f the aforementioned civics lessonPerhaps the last word in all f 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 I know perfectly well how Lyndon Johnson s life turned ut yet I was urgently turning the pages as his 1948 run for the Senate played ut its sordid finish in this second volume A History of Prophecy in Israel, Revised and Enlarged of Robert Caro s monumental biography A biography researched and documented yes but a narrative stranger than fiction Meansf Ascent covers seven years Think good thoughts about a pussycat of Johnson s life comprising his brief and greatly aggrandized career in the Navy in World War II and the beginningsf his considerable fortune through One, Two, Three Me ownershipf 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 ut f governmentBut the second half Sex and Lust in Tijuana: True Sex Stories of the Tjamigos of the book is the dramatic heartf this book which is considerably shorter than his ther volumes just ver 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 Tea for Ruby of the 1948 Johnson effort is the storyf vote buying ballot box stuffing and courtroom theatrics But the campaign was also a study in electioneering styles LBJ needled and goaded but his pponent the popular former governor needled and goaded but his pponent the popular former governor Stevenson never revealed a platform nor responded to the bvious lies LBJ was telling He simply said he d keep taxes down and uphold the constitution he refused to dignify the charges Johnson was bringing by responding to them It was a mistake and his ld fashioned campaign style allowed Johnson to make 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 f San Antonio The Mexican American residents in Duval and Jim Wells counties rarely cast their wn votes but this time their votes were cast I only Like the Fingers of the Guy I Hate, Vol. 1 overwhelmingly for Johnson and reported six days after the election The resulting challenges and courtroom dramas finally put Johnson into his Senate seat with a marginf 87 votes The infamous ballot box 13 from Jim Wells County went missing and poll results went missingCaro s preface to Means The Whistle Pig of Ascent makes reference to the extraordinary civil rights triumphsf 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 story for the ages Caro the historian digs and unearths then Caro the storyteller grabs the reader and won t let go The second volume f The Years f Lyndon Johnson tells the story f LBJ s rise from a mere Congressman ne with little hope for significant advancement to his unlikely election to the US Senate The majority f the pages describe Johnson s relentless ruthless expensive and dishonest campaign against former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson Johnson s relentless ruthless expensive and dishonest campaign against former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson the 1948 Democratic nomination which Johnson fficially but far from legitimately won by 87 votesTexas at the time was a A Stepdaughter In Heat one party state with thene party being the Democratic party so in statewide races the winner f 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 pen 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 Rufus other ideas With a near unlimited amountf campaign money at his disposal and connections to some f the most powerful and ften corrupt local leaders Johnson was able to very literally steal the election for himselfThe story You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero!: Book One in the Just Make a Choice! Series of how this was done is absolutely fascinating The abilityf Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Caro to describe in such amazing detail the political maneuverings and the interwoven lives and activities f all the players kept me enthralled from start to finish The Years f Lyndon Johnson is so much than just a biography As the author explains From the first time I thought Women and Social Work: Towards a Woman-Centered Practice of becoming a biographer I never conceivedf my biographies as merely telling the lives f famous men but rather as a means f illuminating their times and the great forces that shaped their times particularly political power since in a democracy political power has so great a role in shaping the lives The Cowboys of the citizensf that democracy What I set Sins of Treachery out to try to do was to examine the way power works in America in the middlef the twentieth century Mr Caro fully achieved his goal with this book Only 488 prior reviews f the second volume f Caro s LBJ bio The major details My Grandfather's Prison: A Story of Death and Deceit in 1940s Kansas City of this relatively slim book in comparison to thether 3 volumes have been hashed and rehashed I m hoping to craft an arresting and apposite summation worthy to stand beside the many great reviews preceding me Not sure I have the chops to do 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 describes a period f forced uiescence in Johnson s life his so called Wilderness Years and I have the attention span f a gnat so by rights this book should have supplanted my nightly Ambien as a soporific Instead due to Caro s magnificent writing and ability to craft a story line there were some nights this book defeated my sleeping pill and kept me riveted It is rud that many people especially celebrities do Whos Next? Guess Who! or say strange things whilen 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 f Ascent Caro begins by rehashing a bit f the info he presented in volume I thus ensuring a smooth transition and providing a bit Papi's Gift of background for contrarians who insistn reading books ut f rder The gist f the book can be summed up in a few paragraphs Johnson in a rare political blunder was グライネリエ 1 [Grainerie 1] outfoxed by hispponent in his 1941 US Senate campaign This was done by Johnson being confident f victory releasing his vote tally early n the eve f the election thus giving his pponent Texas governor W Lee Pappy O Daniel the The First Socialist Society: A History of the Soviet Union from Within opportunity to steal the election via payoffs to party bosses who controlled huge blocksf minority voters especially in South Texas an area with a huge Mexican American population Johnson was shamed that his The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry opponent had stolen the election from him but he was still a US Congressman and had to campaign for thatffice Additionally the senate election in 1941 was to fill a vacant position and there would be another senate election in July File Under: Arson 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 death Former Senator Harry S Truman now President was a keenbserver Wicked Sense of men One would expect this since in early life he was a haberdasher a profession reuiring keenbservation 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 be drawn into the war ensuing in Europe and ther 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 utbreak Powerless Against You of WW II Mostf his brief stint in uniform is spent touring bases n the US West coast He finally finagles a trip to Australia where he joins a B 26 bombing team n a bombing run to a Japanese air base at Lae n the island f New Guinea Johnson 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 JAPANESEbase being pursued by Japanese 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 Dobys Lessons (Brats in Training of Caro have complained about is that Caro does not capture the true Johnson charm and charisma Apparently LBJ had such a commandver an audience and such a storytelling talent that listeners enjoyed even his prevarications To those that want a depiction The Texan Meets His Match 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 bookf 3 novellas with The Flea Circus describing life working for LBJ Brammer no stranger to aberrant behavior does a great job f capturing LBJ s manic mix f charm and intimidation Here s a uote from The Gay Place describing 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 f those constantly exposed to Arthur Fenstemaker f having peered steadily at the scene f an accident experienced a revelation seen death and redemption God and Lucifer staring back and somehow incredibly survivedBrammer captures the life altering impact f working for Johnson in a way that a mere factual historical account could never do During the next six years Johnson s rising Lone Star loses its luster as he serves Blue Guide New York out his remaining terms in congress in a desultory fashion introducing no significant legislation He remained as cagey as ever never voting for a losing bill during his many years in congressJohnson 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 shadowf a doubt that Johnson stole the election which he won by 87 votes through a combination f tireless campaigning a huge campaign fund from his millionaire ilconstruction backers and extreme political chicanery involving egregious vote fraud and ballot box stuffingSome Monsieur de Saint-George: Virtuoso, Swordsman, Revolutionary: A Legendary Life Rediscovered of my thoughtsobservations about the book Caro is justly known for his thorough and meticulous research Some would say it reaches the pointf Garden of The Gods obsessiveness a charge perhaps justified given that the Johnson bio wasriginally planned as a trilogy and now is a shelf f 3 very thick volumes and ne mid sized volume Means The Fruits of Graft: Great Depressions Then and Now of Ascent with the fifth and final tome expected should Caro not shuffleff this mortal coil before completion Caro has a gift for writing interesting digressions that actually serve a purpose f helping to tell his story That said I feel like there was MUCH left unsaid here about this uiet period f Johnson s lifeJohnson was a force majeure People like him really do not have uiet periods until they are Musical Mathematics: On the Art and Science of Acoustic Instruments on their 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 alson the Goig outs with hisld mentor Sam Rayburn Likewise due to political changes his power to pull strings and grant favors to his fellow congressmen had wanedCaro is Lso Where Alligators Sleep of Robert Moses in The Power Broker carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundationf his long concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it But the explosive heart Saraswati Park of the book is Caro's revelationf the true story Ten Weeks with Chinese Bandits of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election for forty years shrouded in. A platform he said in his dry way was like a Mother Hubbard dress it covered everything and touched nothing Platforms and campaign promises were meaningless politicians issued themr made them and then as soon as they were elected forgot them Robert A Caro Means f Ascent uoting Coke Stephenson This was a different book from Caro s Vol 1 f the Years Young And Naive, Wasted Years of Lyndon Johnson The Path to Power The Path to Power detailed the rise and early historyf LBJ It set the table It showed LBJ as a boy showed the Hill Country It described his father so much Ebekulak 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 electionut stolen from him He lost focus too soon This book starts Israeli Soldier Girl 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 movesn to LBJ using the power he had to buy a radio station in Austin One that would later be the source f his and Lady Bird s enormous wealth it is amazing how many f Commissar our politicos enter DC rich and leave uite rich The last halff the book details the 1948 Senate election when LBJ ran against Coke Stephenson for the Texas Senate seat At this point it becomes almost a dual biography One Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook ofpposites Coke was ld school honest thoughtful popular low key In many ways he resembled LBJ s father Caro never said it directly but in many ways he didn 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 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 n how we are also suckered by the exact things we think we want badly I m pretty sure the men who boughtbrought LBJ into The Firebrand Legacy office certainly loved somef the things he did but I m not sure they would ever have thought their Man would eventually pass the Civil Rights Act and much Making Instruments Count of his great society agenda Eventually many would come to regret their man LBJ was never anyone s man In reading Caro s second volumef the LBJ biography series I was completely blown away While some call it the lesser exciting f Caro s first two volumes depicting LBJ s Texas life and early congressional years I felt that it helped shape the image f the president I knew from the history books Means f Ascent is by no means a shrinking violet in the literary world though its action does perhaps pale when placed against its lder sibling Path to Power Still Caro brings to life those years that bridge the lead up to his arrival n 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 f 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 Treat only with the truth and that which the record reflects rather than cozying up to the famed LBJ We learn a great deal about the chain smoking ill tempered LBJ as the story progresses from his arrivaln 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 Ramayana Vol 1 of this volume spending a great dealf time n the issue and looking at it both in depth and from a variety f perspectives Not being American I was not as aware f his moment is history as some may be and it seems the US media really picked up n it after LBJ s death in 1973 but the 87 votes that changed the world really is a key event in both the progression Desire Lines of this biography and the lifef LBJ For as it is said many times had he lost and actually been declared the loser his limelight would surely have burnt ut and left thers to fill the void It was with this victory that his way to greatness and infamy n the national political scene was pavedI cannot express how impressed I am with this book and the progression f 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 do anything to get what he wants Pamela Paul editor Clicking of the NYT Book review gave me the idea to completely read The Yearsf Lyndon Johnson I am reading them slowly mostly at night r in the morning after night shift before I go to sleep This shortish volume took 4 months and I have the next ne ready to go I am loving them not Six-Fingered Stud only for the deep dive into the lifef this morally challenged small town Texan who became President but for the explanation f the machinations that guided mid 20th century politics Robert Caro is an amazing researcher and writer who makes you want to read his detailed lengthy volumes even knowing how they end To say that Means f Ascent does not reach the towering heights f Caro s first volume f his Years f Lyndon Johnson is no slight Path to Power is ne Lizzie! of the greatest featsf biography I ve ever read The nly reason Means falls short is because it happens to dwell n LBJ s wilderness years This was the time between his first failed senate run during 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 ver weaning butt kissing glad handing lying cajoling cheating adulterous power seeker was backed into a corner His flamboyant traits were diminished as he came up against an imposing barrier the seniority rules f the House Snuff Club: An Extreme Horror Novel of Representatives LBJ asne I Remember Beirut of 435 membersf the US House was neutered His 11 year career was inauspicious and to put it bluntly a little depressing He made no speeches asked no uestions introduced Il russo only 7 billsf which As You Are: Ignite Your Charisma, Reclaim Your Confidence, Unleash Your Masculinity only 2 became law He spent a little time grabbing for money through a radio station hewned but ther than this secondary ambition to be rich he mostly stewed in the belief that he would die before gaining his ultimate goal to be president Means lacks the first volume s great arc from Hill County bumpkin to ultimate goal to be president Means lacks the first volume s great arc from Hill County bumpkin to favorite It also lacks the great side story f Alice Glass and Charles Marsh as LBJ sacrificed the great love An Anteater Named Arthur of his life to his all consuming drive for the White House Means also drips with Caro s disgust for this versionf LBJ It is almost unconcealed and seldom softened LBJ is not Brutal Asset 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 inrder to gain power The great uestion then was what he would do with that power Murmur of Rain once gained It is how LBJ finally used his capital that ultimately proves the measuref this man it is this story that awaits the further volumes Means has much to Illustrated Dictionary of Religions offer As in volume 1 when Caro raised Sam Rayburn to mythic status a different hero is presented to stand athwart and in constrast to LBJ This is Coke Stevenson whom Caro flirting with demagoguery calls a legend Stevenson comesff as almost impossibly good However his story is incredibly touching and Caro never fails to deliver the human elements In all his books he manages to delve into the personal details that drove the great men and women 1066 ofur times He wrote beautifully Pancakes for Findus 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 lightf candle Coke who lost his first wife and late in life found love O meio galo once again Coke who didn t know how to steal an election Caro has a wayf shaping history to suit his narrative which is both enjoyable to read and capable Horae Homileticae Commentary Volume 3 of 7 of stretching reality Coke is positioned as the exactpposite Bed Riddance: A Posy for the Indisposed of the venal sneaky LBJ In the 48 election LBJ runs for the senate against Coke LBJ pullsut 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 Millionaire Rancher Penniless Cowgirl of the book that is most enlightening Caro proves beyond a shadowf a doubt that LBJ with the help Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating of border boss George Parrut and ut stole the senate election It s a fascinating tail filled with desperadoes and bandits and shady suint eyed men doing business in the shadows the business being the buying and selling f Mexican American votes There is even a cameo by future Supreme Court jurist Abe Fortas who stops a federal judge from pening contested ballot boxes The end result f 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 A Dark Design of LBJ as Caro frankly says an immoral man and Coke as an honorable Manf 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 didn t care She Moves to Her Own Rhythm: A Guided Exploration (A Color of Woman Coloring Book and Journal) one whit for blacks It was LBJ at the endf the day who took a lifetime s worth A Social Experiment in Program Administration: The Housing Allowance Administration Agency Experiment of accumulated power and spent itn the Great Society a package f program that did for civil rights than any event in history short f Lee s surrender at Appomattox History is funny that way it Luring Tristan offers redemption at every turn This is the second volumef four thus far in Robert Caro s magisterial biography Mackerel at Midnight: Growing Up Jewish on a Remote Scottish Island 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 heatedly disputed primary election Johnson was crushed by his loss in 1941 and believed that the election had been stolen from him by anpponent who was clever than he He vowed it would never happen again Months after that defeat Johnson was still a sitting congressmen when World War II began with the Japanese attack n 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 ut in the trenches with them Once war was declared Johnson thus found himself in a bind because he had absolutely no interest in Being In The Trenches Or in the trenches r else ther than in the Congress As means Three for Halloween 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 gon active duty in California and elsewhere far from any fightingJohnson knew though that his political career would be imperiled if he did not see some action especially in light How to Draw Spacecraft of the promise he had made Thus he ultimately arranged to get to Australia and then to gon a single combat mission as an The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Dr. Norman Bethune observer not as a combatant flyingn 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 downHaving seen this action Johnson returned home and fairly uickly thereafter to his duties in the House Underhanded Backgammon: A Devious Guide To The Art Of Backhanded Backgammon of Representatives But in the years following he continued to embellish the storyf his combat experience until it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the action that had actually Part-Time Perverts: Sex, Pop Culture, and Kink Management occurred Johnson also managed to win a Silver Cross simply for being a passengern a plane that had come under enemy fire and he wore it proudly for years thereafter as he boasted The Education of Chauncey Doolittle (Clay Bank County) of his heroic wartime actionsHaving disposedf Johnson s war record Caro then goes Xavier Doolittle: Christian End Times Short Story on to recount how Johnson established the foundationf the fortune he would accumulate in the coming years by taking The Beatles: A Private View over a small struggling radio station The station and thethers to follow were technically wned by Johnson s wife Lady Bird and Johnson always insisted that the radio empire was hers alone and that he had nothing to do with it Caro uickly demolishes that story as well and demonstrates 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 devotes the bulk f 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 f democracy in action that we all learned in grade school civics classes In a nutshell Caro believes that this election was make r break for Lyndon Johnson He had to give up his congressional seat in A False Proposal 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 pursuedther political ptions Caro is also convinced that Johnson blatantly stole the election and does everything he can to marshal the evidence in favor f his case while ignoring anything that might argue against it Caro says that he initially intended to cover the election in Doula Programs only a single chapter but he was apparently so incensed by the story that instead he devoted three uartersf this volume to itAs is the case with his ther books Caro has done prodigious research into the topic The problem it seems to me lies in the way he has used that research For example much f the book rests A Primate's Memoir onral interviews One gets the impression that Caro must have talked to anyone who ever even passed Johnson Nazca: Journey to the Sun on the street from the time Johnson was born until the day he diedThe problem though is that Caro seems all too willing to take at face value any criticism that anyone has toffer Selected Writings of Johnson Ifn the Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns That Killed Bin Laden and Devastated Al-Qaeda other hand someone might say something nice about the man Caroften stops to present a counter argument suggesting that the compliment perhaps was not deserved The ver arching problem f Caro s treatment Nostradamus and the Nazis of the election though is that he sees this as a contestf 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 Nostradamus: The Truth Be Told: A Complete History Of Europe opponent Coke Stevenson is crowned with the white hatGiven the naturef 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 did not win a majority کاریکلماتور ، کتاب چهارم: همه به ملاقات آینه میرویم of the vote and so had to face Johnson in a runoff election In the second election Johnson emerged the winner by a scant totalf eighty seven votes Caro argues that the utcome was the result f unprecedented electoral fraud never before seen even in TexasIn Rosa, Sola order to make Johnson appear as crooked as possible Caro resorts to turning hispponent Coke Stevenson into a sainted hero f the Old West a man f the people humble wise simple and honest beyond reproach He waxes How to Develop a Magnetic Personality: Discover How to Improve Your Personality to Become a More Attractive Person (Personality Development Tips) on at length about Stevenson s virtues noting atne point that He loved the law that he had taught himself The Kraut: On Being German after 1940 on the ranch loved it as he loved his land loved it with an intensity so deep it was almost religious believed in its majesty its power to right a wrongThenly problem with Caro s depiction Merciless: House of Gravori of Stevenson is that few if anyther historians would recognize it The Coke Stevenson described by many
Other Observers Was A Small Minded Reactionaryobservers was a small minded reactionary advocate Cult of states rights who distrusted government the federal government in particular an isolationist and a racist as well As governorf Texas Stevenson had slashed spending for social services He was very critical f a Supreme Court decision in 1944 that expanded black voting rights in Texas and said regarding a lynching in Texarkana that certain members f the Negro race from time to time furnish the setting for mob violence by the 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate 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 d be different But this is a far cry from the Stevenson that Caro portrays and when challengedn this score Caro insists that the portrait f Stevenson that thers now take as gospel results from the fact that they are perpetuating the lies that Johnson and his supporter. Robert A Caro's life f Lyndon Johnson which began with the greatly acclaimed The Path to Power also winner f the National Book Critics Circle Award continues ne f the richest most intensive and most revealing examinations ever undertaken f an American President In Means f Ascent the Pulitzer Prize winning biographerhistorian chronicler Ascinated by power and by people like Robert Moses and LBJ who are masters at A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies obtaining it and using it to swayther people both the powerful and the lumpen proletariat to embrace their desires It is thus no coincidence that Means Pardon My French Coloring: A Sweary Adult Coloring Book with Cursing in French, Italian, Spanish, and British English of Ascent has been Caro s shortest work in the Johnson tetralogy It was a period when Johnson had the least political powerf his entire career I suspect though that while Caro views this power vacuum period as a time Falling in Paris (Encounters, of hamstrung desires LBJ the forcef nature undoubtedly was living as he usually had using his tremendous personal charisma to work Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys others to his will I suspect this was a time that Johnson had many gratuitous sexual affairs and found ways to complicate his lifeutside the political sphere I am also guessing his eye was always n the prize f 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 f 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 down during this time The nly thing that kept him going was that he was screwing every young vixen he could get his huge hands Faces of Hachiko: A Novel of Present-day Japan on What Caro does dredge 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 day to day affairs Johnson s media empire was sold for 9 million US dollars before his death a figure euivalent to about 54 million US in 2018 Meanwhile Johnson worked behind the scenes to move the station to a desirable spotn the dial and increase its broadcasting range to cover a much wider area f 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 due to greatly increased advertising revenue profits that would lead to ther media acuisitions and serious wealth especially with the advent f television in the 1950 sI was delighted that Caro devoted a chapter f this book to Lady Bird She is an A Scourge of Vipers oftverlooked 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 PathFinder (TodHunter Moon, of LBJ s secret White House tapes I had always thoughtf Lady Bird as a demure loving but uninvolved spouse Beshchloss s books reveal a Lady Bird with a keen understanding Predator vs. Magnus Robot Fighter of her husband s political life and LBJften consulted her for advice n how to handle different people and situations It is bvious from reading the transcriptions I'll Settle for Love of the tapes that Lady Bird was a personf high intelligence who played a crucial role in her husband s life as advisor partner and confidant Caro interviews several suitors from her youth and ne f 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 f low ambitions Though Caro ften describes Lady Bird as a sort f maid in waiting to a bossy demanding LBJ his chapter n Lady Bird shows that far from being a mere doormat she was a brilliant determined person who aided and championed Johnson s rise to power and was a valuable supportive ally through all The Elders Speak: Reflections On Native American Culture And Life of Johnson s good and bad timesThe controversial stolen senate electionf 1948 is the book s predominant focus Caro has done some stealthy snooping to get the definitive truth about this suspect election This is both the book s strongest and weakest section IMHOIt is strong because it reads as if Death of a Polaroid - A Manics Family Album one is watching a great drama 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 hispponent and front runner simply drives from town to town talking to small groups Do What You Love and Other Lies About Success and Happiness of voters theld fashioned wayThe story f how the election is stolen makes the Bush Gore fiasco f 2000 look like a grammar school election in some podunk town in flyover country For those Tapi of you who are foreignersr 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 Paroles of his rich backers steals the election in a conclusion so powerful it makes the political writingsf Theodore H White a noted political writer specializing in chronicling elections seem like sixth grade essays from those few literate flyovers capable Harper of writing I don 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 mindf Abe Fortas and Johnson s balls Imperium of steel LBJ may have ended his days as an Austin used car salesman 3 Johnson despite his proclivity to tell tall tales believed by none was extremely concerned about his reputation and appearance and standing in every aspect Norilsk of his lifeOnto the book s weakness Stevenson is cast as the hero in this tale and portrayed as a manf such moral probity and goodness that compared to Coke Albert Schweitzer would be a depraved serial killer Coke is the prototypical self made American man who rose from a poor family to establish a perilous delivery business as a teenager while studying Sfarade on long hard nights under a light held by an angel First he studied finance and moved from fording dangerous streams with wagon loadsf 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 his days working it while practicing a bit Oeuvres of law His assiduous study paysff as he passed the bar and apprenticed under a skilled and experienced attorney Coke s love Mde of the US Constitution was so powerful that by comparison the great Supreme Court Justice John Marshall was a seditious traitor Coke realizes his dream buys his ranch marries the lovef 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 Soie offices leading up to two terms as Texas governor He was undefeated in 12 elections prior to facing LBJ and a fewthers in the democratic Senatorial primary He won the last gubernatorial election with a mere 85% Mmoires of the vote After serving his two terms Coke retired to his ranch to dig post holes in the rocky soilf his ranchThis depiction Ordesa of Coke as the exemplarf morality and goodness juxtaposed by the portrait Vladivostok of LBJ as a venal vote stealing sociopath diminished the book IMO though not enough for me to withdraw my five star rating It s diminishing because I think it fails to give an adeuate estimationf both menJohnson Circ once uipped The very fact a man is a newspaper reporter is evidencef some flaw Potique of character Could politician have been substituted for newspaper reporter Onef Caro s themes in his books seems to be that the very act f 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 ffice twelve times in Texas and twice had held the highest elected camilove office in the state He was a man with flaws and a keen political sensibility Caro fails to mention anyf those flaws and thus the reader learns about a Coke who is almost too good to be human In critiues I ve read Lettres of the book several reviewers pointut that Coke was known in Texas as Calculatin Coke and I m guessing if Caro had interviewed African Americans in various parts Phdre of Texas somef them might view Coke in uite Phdre opposite ways than the Coke presented to us in Meansf Ascent Coke was a racist in Contes other words as has been pointedut by Matt in his magnificent review This was also noted in the critiues I read Mde of the book andne reviewer cited a direct uote from Coke during his reign as governor where a black man had been lynched and Coke was urged by a US Attorney to prosecute the white men suspected in the lynching Coke s response was along the lines that Some Negroes get what they deserve and he declined to have the lynching investigated Coke was also supported by the Dixiecrats in the election a far right group Gorgiques of politicos who ran racist Strom Thurmond for President in the 48 election Caro mentions this but downplays it and implies that Coke received their endorsement solely because the Dixiecrats perceived Coke as the lesserf the two evilsIt s also interesting that Johnson s wealthy political backer Herman Brown whom Johnson had helped make even richer described him as being in favor Liol of improving the livesf black people Johnson did not vote this way but apparently he not vote this way but apparently he Joker open in admitting he favored better treatmentf African Americans at a time when Texas had regular lynchings and maltreatment Iphignie of someone due to skin color was simply therder Ravage of the day Further Johnson basedn past journalistic accounts I have read had always been a champion Enfance of black civil rights but could notpenly state this as it would have meant death for his political career Reports I have read indicate that Johnson when traveling around Texas would do seemingly innocuous things like casually approach a black hotel porter and ask How are things going down 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 Germinal out someppressed minoritiesCaro s assiduous research allows him to dig up Johnson scandals like his techniue Nord of using local supporters to spread malicious rumors about Stevensonne being that Coke was a champion Epp 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 much digging Caro did to findut 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 Cris of the man because to do so would have lessened the powerf his good versus evil story lineIn sum this is an excellent book full Hilda of what readers have come to expect from Robert Caro Interesting asides that add richness and texture to his writing and clear detailed explanationsf complex matters that include new insights and factual accounts that could Hippie only have beenbtained through laborious research The book s account that include new insights and factual accounts that could Papillon only have beenbtained through laborious research The book s account the stolen election would likely be upheld in any court in the land as damning testimony Most historians are going to write accounts f a particular person r event and either consciously Rythmes or inadvertently are going to interject their personal prejudices andpinions Appia of that personr event In this respect Caro is no different from most writers Adolphe of history and biography I recommend Meansf Ascent as an important connecting link in the complicated life Caligula of Lyndon Baines Johnson a complicated man At the same time I d suggest the discerning reader conduct a bitf side research to investigate the political life Flures of the noble and saintly Coke Stevenson What was I thinking I have read every word Caro has written but I had imagined I could skip thisne because nothing really happened and I d already read the Hamlet over 200o pagesf the Johnson series But I had forgotten why I had been reading them in the first place It wasn t about plot Brnice or to findut what happened meline or didn 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 brilliancef the master It is an utter 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 Means Lettre Laurence of Ascent The Yearsf Lyndon Johnson is the second volume in Robert Caro s series covering the life Thogonie of Lyndon B Johnson Caro is a former investigative reporter and the authorf two Pulitzer Prize winning biographies Master Andy and His Yellow Frisbee of the Senate the third volume in this series and The Power Broker about the lifef Robert Moses Caro is currently working Sydney on the fifth and presumably final volume in his LBJ seriesPublished in 1990 Meansf Ascent covers seven difficult years Blade of Dishonor (Omnibus Edition) 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 victoryver former Texas governor Coke Stevenson This 412 page volume is the shortest in Caro s series but again demonstrates the author s tenacious research habits and willingness to dive deeply into a subjectCaro s writing style in this volume is strikingly similar to his prose f the first volume it is neither elegant nor flowery but is packed with intensity and a clever if slightly unwieldy bent Individual sentences ften read as though they were authored by Charles Dickensbut with even punch The third sentence in this book for instance contains 124 words and than a dozen commas colons and semicolonsDespite being an integral part Moscardino of a much larger series Meansf Ascent is designed to be a standalone volume Caro repeats enough Shiver of the first volume s highlights in early chapters that a reader could begin the series here without missing important themes And in this book s final chapters Caro foreshadows where the next volumes will take LBJ and his insatiable thirst for powerVolume 2 begins in earnest with Johnson s brief service in World War II the subjectf significant embellishment by the future president This is followed by LBJ s purchase f a Texas radio station which eventually proved no less contentious But the book s primary focus is LBJ s election to the US Senate in a fascinating and well told story f intrigue corruption and rural Texas politics The book could easily have been titled The Stolen Senate Election f 1948 Readers familiar with Caro will recognize the meticulously thorough research which underpins this biography he seems to have interviewed everyone who knew LBJas well as everyone who knew someone who knew LBJ Also familiar his use f captivating mini biographies to introduce important supporting charactersThe most important f these introductions is aimed at Coke Stevenson Johnson s primary pponent in his 1948 Senate bid who receives an entire chapter much like Sam Rayburn in the previous volume But there "Are Others Who Also "others who also interesting if less extensive treatment such as George Parr and Frank HamerCaro also continuously provides the reader with enough context perspective and imagery that it is difficult to read this text and not imagine being at the scene f nearly every moment he describesBut this biography also possesses its share f blemishes It Huey piano Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues often resembles a skilled prosecutor s most zealous and unrelenting case against LBJ s admittedly numerous and disturbing personality defects Where the first volume systematically develops a case against LBJ this volume feels like a blistering non stop critiuef nearly every aspect f his characterCaro ften but not always provides convincing evidence to support his portrayal You Were Always On My Mind of LBJ but he freuently fails to include evidence that could soften the sharp edgesf that portrait Oral testimony solicited decades after an event is regularly used to condemn Johnson but I cannot remember a single instance Chine : Dans les monts de la lune of testimony being used in his defenseAnd in the processf highlighting the darkest threads Lego Crazy Action Contraptions: A Lego Inventions Book (Klutz) of Johnson s character during his 1948 Senate bid Caro elevates Coke Stevenson to lofty heights which most Texas historians probably wouldn t recognize Every villain it seems reuires a hero And if Johnson is in the eyesf some this volume s controversial antagonist Stevenson is its strangely flawless luminaryOverall Means Power Revealed of Ascent is a commendable successor to The Path to Power though not uite its eual Due to its relatively narrow scope itffers fewer piercing revelations about Johnson than the first volume but does an admirable job bridging two extremely conseuential periods in his life Most importantly however Means f Ascent leaves the reader deeply embedded in Johnson s life fully engrossed in Caro s series and eager to tackle the next volumeOverall rating 4 stars. Rumor which Johnson had to win r face certain political death and which he did win by the 87 votes that changed history Caro makes us witness to a momentous turning point in American politics the tragic last stand Lud-in-the-Mist of theld politics versus the new the politics Chasing the Dream Anthology of issue versus the politicsf image mass manipulation money and electronic dazz.