The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent

A superb book chronicling a relatively unknown but critical time in the life of Lyndon Johnson, the years 1941 to 1948. Mr. Caro thoroughly details Johnson's congressional term during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, his questionable war record, and the legendary 1948 Texas Democratic Senate primary, won by Mr. Johnson by 87 votes out of nearly a million cast. In his meticulous research, Mr. Caro resolves the forty years of rumor and uncertainty surrounding this election. He also details what he calls the "light and dark" sides of Johnson's character. He presents a man who fought against all obstacles to almost single-handedly bring the people of his backwards district into the Twentieth Century, but who also secretly betrayed his mentor, the great Sam Rayburn, and who used almost every means available, legal or otherwise, to obtain the power that he craved. A very complex man. Mr. Caro also reintroduces a now-forgotten hero and Son of Texas, Coke Stevenson, the man Johnson defeated in the Senate race. I cannot praise this book highly enough, and look forward to the next volume in the series.
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The review of this Book prepared by H. F. Merritt

Chapter Analysis of The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent

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Plot & Themes

Political/social rights fight    -   Yes job/profession:    -   politician Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender    -   Yes Politician story?    -   Politician trying to avoid reform

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   politician/elected ruler Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Texas    -   Northeast Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Pacific Islands Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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Robert A. Caro Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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