Robert Caro's Fourth Volume of LBJ Bio Coming in May

51502988 Robert Caro's Fourth Volume of LBJ Bio Coming in May


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.


  1. Scott Riedel says:

    I’m inclined to agree with jpodhoretz. 700 pages on the Johnson Vice Presidency? Of course, it’s a must-read, but I hope Caro can avoid the grave long enough to get Johnson to his!

  2. Hlouisnini says:

    As a born and bred Texan who loves his state and nation and has had an abiding interest in politics and the acheivment of power and the use thereof I have been haunted by the same questions that Caro asks and answers in his epic works about LBJ.  Alternating between pride and shame, sadden by the dark overcast his years of power left over Texas, but at the same time intrigued by the question of how did this man do it? Also as an avid reader I appreciate Caro’s endeviour and aability to make history read like a novel.  I rate him equal or maybe a little above Rick Atkinson whose marvelious books on WWII read like the very readable fiction of John Grisham.   

  3. Layzdayz41 says:

    I have been waiting for this book for 10 years! Yah!

    1. Dstone141 says:

      Coming in May. Can hardly wait: I’ll be first in line at Barnes and Noble. Caro is the finest biographer in the world as far as I am concerned. Were it not for Viet Nam, Johnson would be one of the great Presidents but that’s like saying if Switzerland was withour mountains it would be flat.

      By comparison with the present cop of Republican wannabees, LBJ  was a giant who bestrode the US like a collosus.

  4. Cperrym says:

    At eighty three I am grateful that I will probably live until May and be enthralled with { The Passage of Power.} Mr Caro will have to write much faster for me to see what come next. The description of the workings of the U.S. Senate was what made the last book so powerful.

    1. Clarkc0513 says:

           I have been worried about how soon Caro will come out with his fourth installment.  Glad he has the biography done through 1964.  And this volume will no doubt deal with Caro’s version of the Kennedy assassination.  But now that just makes me agonize over how long till the fifth volume come out.  I worry about Caro’s age. . .  he is now 77. . .

  5. Granniesonie says:

    i am no more than a common every day citizen of the great state of texas and i just wanted to let mr. caro know that i have found his biographies about president johnson to be compelling and remarkable reading.  the details that he has gone to would usually be lost on the ordinary  reader but he puts them in such a way as to hold your interest.  almost like you were there.  i am so glad i came across these books.  i love history and these books have been excellent.  

  6. Clarkc0513 says:

    As growing up in the 1960’s of Lyndon Johnson and reaching maturity in the 1970’s of Richard Nixon, I am intrigued by these two darkest of U.S. presidents.  Unfortunately, their legacy is to have their accomplishments mythologized by “liberal Kennedy spin doctors” and “conservative Reagan spin doctors” as the accomplishments of John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.  For all of Johnson’s ruthless implementaions of power, the crystalization of civil rights into law from the 1957 Civil Rights Act to the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the 1965 Voting Act and on to the 1968 Housing Act was the product of the redneck from the Hill Country of Texas and not the Harvard educated Massachuetsetts liberal who found civil rights “inconveient” to his presidential aspirations and later his dealings with Congress (Kennedy).

    Caro accomplishes in his Johnson biography the ability to despise the ruthlessness (and disgusting nature) of Lyndon Johnson at the same time he gives the man his due.