Having worked on his exhaustive biography of Lyndon B. Johnson for almost three decades, Robert A. Caro has delivered the manuscript for the fourth installment, leaving only one more volume before the magnum opus is complete. The Passage of Power will be published by Knopf in May, continuing the story begun in The Path to Power (1982), Means of Ascent (1990) and Master of the Senate (2002). Mr. Caro has already won the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award and the books have collectively sold more than 1 million copies. The first two volumes of the biography will also be released in e-book form on November 23.
A statement from Knopf describes the latest installment:
In The Passage of Power, Caro focuses on five crucial years in the life of Lyndon Johnson — from late 1958 when he began campaigning for the presidency, to early 1964, after he was thrust into office following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Based on interviews with primary sources and on thousands of original documents, Caro describes the volatile relations between Johnson and John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. He writes of the years of frustration and humiliation Johnson endured as vice president.
“There will be a fifth volume, though we have no timetable for it yet, only the expectation that it will be as remarkable as the first four,” said Knopf chairman Sonny Mehta in the statement. (Here is also a nice story from the AP about the new book, which will be a modest 700 pages in length.)
As we also recently learned, Robert Caro’s 1974 biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker, will be made into a movie for HBO directed by Oliver Stone.