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Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson) by Robert A. Caro - Signed First Edition - 1990 - from Bookmarc's and Biblio.com

Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson)

by Robert A. Caro

Condition: Very Good/Very Good


New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. I2 - A first edition (stated) hardcover book SIGNED by author on the title page in very good condition in very good dust jacket that is mylar protected. Dust jacket and book have some wrinkling on the spine edges, light discoloration and shelf wear. Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. It is the magnum opus of a writer perfectly suited to his task: the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer-historian, chronicler also of Robert Moses in The Power Broker, whose inspired research and profound understanding of the nature of ambition and the dynamics of power have made him a peerless explicator of political lives. The Path to Power, the first book of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was greeted on its publication with a wave of acclaim, received the National Book Critics Circle Award and became a nationwide best-seller. And here, with the narrative passion and the unique gift for making us grasp the way the world really works that distinguish all his writing, Caro brings alive Lyndon Johnson in his wilderness years. In Means of Ascent, 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 extraordinary detailed investigation, of one of the greatest political mysteries of the century. Having immersed himself for fourteen years in Johnson's life and world, tracking down hundreds of people who knew LBJ in Texas, in Washington and across the country, Caro is able to reveal the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, for forty 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. Means of Ascent is the second book in a multivolume work that will stand as the political biography of our time. 9.5"6.5", 506 Satisfaction Guaranteed. Robert Allan Caro is an American journalist and author known for his biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson. After working for many years as a reporter, Caro wrote The Power Broker (1974), a biography of New York urban planner Robert Moses, which was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century. He has since written four of a planned five volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson (1982, 1990, 2002, 2012), a biography of the former president. For his biographies, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes in Biography, two National Book Awards (including one for Lifetime Achievement), the Francis Parkman Prize (awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that "best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist"), three National Book Critics Circle Awards, the H.L. Mencken Award, the Carr P. Collins Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, the D.B. Hardeman Prize, and a Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2010 President Barack Obama awarded Caro the National Humanities Medal. Due to Caro's reputation for exhaustive research and detail, he is sometimes invoked by reviewers of other writers who are called "Caro-esque" for their own extensive research. . Signed by Author. First Edition. Hard Cover. Very Good/Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall.
Multi-volume Set

   For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best "exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist."    To create his first book, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Caro spent seven years tracing and talking with hundreds of men and women who worked with, for, or against Robert Moses, including a score of his top aides.  He examined mountains of files never open to the public.  Everywhere acclaimed as a modern classic, The Power Broker was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest non-fiction books of the twentieth century. It is, according to David Halberstam, "Surely the greatest book ever written about a city." And The New York times Book Review  said: "In the future, the scholar who writes the history of American cities in the twentieth century will doubtless begin with this extraordinary effort."    To research The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Caro and his wife, Ina, moved from his native New York City to the Texas Hill Country and then to Washington, D.C., to live in the locales in which Johnson grew up and in which he built, while he was still young, his first political machine.  He has spent years examining documents at the Johnson Library in Austin and interviewing men and women connected with Johnson's life, many of whom had never before been interviewed. The first volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, was cited by The Washington Post as "proof that we live in a great age of biography... [a book] of radiant excellence... Caro's evocation of the Texas Hill Country, his elaboration of Johnson's unsleeping ambition, his understanding of how politics actually work, are—let  it be said flat out—at the summit of American historical writing." Professor Henry F. Graff of Columbia University called the second volume, Means of Ascent, "brilliant.  No review does justice to the drama of the story Caro is telling, which is nothing less than how present-day politics was born."  And the London Times hailed volume three, Masters of the Senate, as "a masterpiece... Robert Caro has written on of the truly great political biographies of the modern age."     "Caro has a unique place among American political biographers," according to The Boston Globe .  "He has become, in many ways, the standard by which his fellows are measured."  And Nicholas von Hoffman wrote: "Caro has changed the art of political biography."    Caro graduated from Princeton University and later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.  He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.




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