has been working on his biographical series The Years of Lyndon Johnson
for about 35 years. The long-awaited fourth volume
, "The Passage of Power,"
is due out on May 1. It covers Johnson's vice presidency and his ascension to the presidency after John F. Kennedy's assassination
. An excerpt from the book
concerning the events of Nov. 22, 1963, was published in the April 2 issue of The New Yorker
. This volume's predecessor, “Master of the Senate,” was published in 2002 and earned Caro a Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Caro writes in the introduction to the first book in the series, “The Path to Power”:Knowing Lyndon Baines Johnson—understanding the character of the thirty-sixth President of the United States—is essential to understanding the history of the United States in the twentieth century.
was born in 1908 in the hardscrabble Texas hill country, an area so remote that most residents didn't even have electricity until the late 1930s.
Unlike another president who identifies himself with Texas,
Lyndon Johnson pulled himself up out of a life of little opportunity
, becoming a teacher, and then pursuing elected office, inspired by his father's service in the Texas legislature. From a very young age, he knew he wanted to be president, and did everything from ingratiating himself with anybody who could help him gain influence to taking enormous, undocumented donations to, many allege, stealing elections
to achieve that goal.
Caro also earned a Pulitzer for his 1974 doorstop of a tome on Robert Moses, "The Power Broker."
In that book, he exhaustively details the life of a man who started his career in the path of public service, and was ultimately transformed into a person who acquired power for its own sake. Moses' legacy
on the New York infrastructure
is still debated
A fifth Johnson volume is promised by the publisher, and if it follows the frequency already established, we should expect it around 2022.