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Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon…
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Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson) (urspr publ 1990; utgåvan 1991)

av Robert A. Caro (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,789267,259 (4.37)48
In Means of Ascent, Book Two of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro brings alive Lyndon Johnson in his wilderness years.   Here, Johnson's almost mythic personality--part genius, part behemoth, at once hotly emotional and icily calculating--is seen at its most nakedly ambitious. This multifaceted book carries the President-to-be from the aftermath of his devastating defeat in his 1941 campaign for the Senate-the despair it engendered in him, and the grueling test of his spirit that followed as political doors slammed shut-through his service in World War II (and his artful embellishment of his record) to the foundation of his fortune (and the actual facts behind the myth he created about it).   The culminating drama--the explosive heart of the book--is Caro's illumination, based on extraordinarily detailed investigation, of one of the great political mysteries of the century. Having immersed himself in Johnson's life and world, Caro is able to reveal the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, for years shrouded in rumor, which Johnson was not believed capable of winning, which he "had to" win or face certain political death, and which he did win-by 87 votes, the "87 votes that changed history."   Telling that epic story "in riveting and eye-opening detail," Caro returns to the American consciousness a magnificent lost hero. He focuses closely not only on Johnson, whom we see harnessing every last particle of his strategic brilliance and energy, but on Johnson's "unbeatable" opponent, the beloved former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson, who embodied in his own life the myth of the cowboy knight and was himself a legend for his unfaltering integrity. And ultimately, as the political duel between the two men quickens--carrying with it all the confrontational and moral drama of the perfect Western--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 dazzle.… (mer)
Medlem:bvelto
Titel:Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson)
Författare:Robert A. Caro (Författare)
Info:Vintage (1991), Edition: Reprint, 592 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Means of Ascent av Robert A. Caro (1990)

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» Se även 48 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 26 (nästa | visa alla)
Four stars only in relation to Book 1 of the series, probably a 4.5 overall. This book was not nearly as varied as the first volume as it covered a MUCH shorter time period. Essentially it is about the infamous 1948 Senate race in Texas and as a thorough study of that race it is fantastic. But I felt like I did not get nearly as much LBJ in this one, it is almost as much about Coke Stevenson (his opponent in that election) as LBJ. Still a fascinating and wonderfully written book and I'm looking forward to volumes 3 & 4 in the series in the future. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Means of Ascent is half the length of Caro’s #1 volume about LBJ, but every bit as compelling, perhaps more. If further proof was needed, the loving treatment of Coke Stevenson in this history demonstrates that Caro’s subject is, first and foremost, “power”; this series is far, far from being an adoring bio of its subject. Johnson is reprehensible, even disgusting, and I’ll never look on his accomplishments the same again. Now ... on to #3. ( )
  markburris | Jul 11, 2021 |
This is the slow period of LBJ's career, which is why Caro only gets 400 pages out of it, and the election of 1948 takes up a large chunk of that.

Still good, but not the high point of the biography. Readers may wish to look for some dissenting views on Caro's presentation of the election of 1948 and his characterization of Coke Stevenson. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
Meticulously researched and brilliantly written. ( )
  KateFinney | Jul 10, 2021 |
Not to take the same angle as so many contemporary reviews (or this site's top-rated, 3-star review has), accusing Caro of an infatuation with Coke Stevenson and an lack of restraint in his disgust for Johnson's actions in the Senate race - readings in which I detect an eagerness to punish Caro for the critical success of his first two books and a tendency toward the old sophomore slump narrative - but just as Caro repeats in one of his pet refrains, that certain tendencies of Johnson's character were accented by the actions of the 1948 campaign, Means of Ascent similarly underlines the flaws in Caro's approach. He is universally praised for the depth and breadth of his research, but tends to miss the forest for the trees, particularly in the last quarter of this volume, in which Johnson all but disappears as Caro untangles the legal battle that followed the Democratic primary. The Path to Power felt like such a revelation not only for its wealth of detail but for its organizational triumphs; a chapter like "The Sad-Irons", or a chronicle of the history of Brown & Root, was placed well within the narrative, with a clear through-line and connection to Johnson's political journey. Here, the thread gets harder to follow. It certainly helps to read Means of Ascent in quick succession with The Path to Power, an approach which I cannot fault reviewers for neglecting. Deadlines, as Johnson well knew, can be fatal. ( )
  brendanowicz | May 9, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 26 (nästa | visa alla)
What is clear from Mr. Caro's books is that he is both obsessed with and repelled by power. His analysis of how power is used - to build highways and dams, to win elections, to get rich - is masterly. But he also, deep down, seems to hate power, hate those who wield it, hate it for its sheer, blind force. One sympathizes with this, and it contributes to the moral energy of his books. But the problem is that his approach to power lacks creative tension. Intellectually he understands that it can be used for good ends. ''Many liberal dreams might not be reality even today were it not for Lyndon Johnson,'' he writes in his introduction. But emotionally Mr. Caro seems to find this intolerable, and thus his books are an almost unrelieved litany of impassioned disgust.
 
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In Means of Ascent, Book Two of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro brings alive Lyndon Johnson in his wilderness years.   Here, Johnson's almost mythic personality--part genius, part behemoth, at once hotly emotional and icily calculating--is seen at its most nakedly ambitious. This multifaceted book carries the President-to-be from the aftermath of his devastating defeat in his 1941 campaign for the Senate-the despair it engendered in him, and the grueling test of his spirit that followed as political doors slammed shut-through his service in World War II (and his artful embellishment of his record) to the foundation of his fortune (and the actual facts behind the myth he created about it).   The culminating drama--the explosive heart of the book--is Caro's illumination, based on extraordinarily detailed investigation, of one of the great political mysteries of the century. Having immersed himself in Johnson's life and world, Caro is able to reveal the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, for years shrouded in rumor, which Johnson was not believed capable of winning, which he "had to" win or face certain political death, and which he did win-by 87 votes, the "87 votes that changed history."   Telling that epic story "in riveting and eye-opening detail," Caro returns to the American consciousness a magnificent lost hero. He focuses closely not only on Johnson, whom we see harnessing every last particle of his strategic brilliance and energy, but on Johnson's "unbeatable" opponent, the beloved former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson, who embodied in his own life the myth of the cowboy knight and was himself a legend for his unfaltering integrity. And ultimately, as the political duel between the two men quickens--carrying with it all the confrontational and moral drama of the perfect Western--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 dazzle.

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