Monday, March 26, 2012

Robert Caro's new book

JFK's death through LBJ's eyes.

A highly anticipated new book tells a familiar story -- the assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- from a unique vantage point: The eyes of Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, the fourth volume in a monumental biography by Robert Caro, includes a detailed description of Nov. 22, 1963 -- the day LBJ woke up as a frustrated vice president and wound up as the nation's 36th president, following a murder in his home state of Texas.

The New Yorker is running an excerpt on the JFK assassination (subscription required). The book will be released May 1.

"Even in this first hour after John F. Kennedy's death, Lyndon Johnson seems to have had feelings that would torment him for the rest of his life," Caro writes.

"Feelings understandable in any man placed in the Presidency not through an election but through an assassin's bullet, and feelings exacerbated, in his case, by the contrast, and what he felt was the world's view of the contrast, between him and the President he was replacing; by the contempt in which he had been held by the people around the President; and by the stark geographical fact of where the act elevating him to office had taken place."

Caro has been at work on his prize-winning LBJ biography for more than three decades.

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