Don’t be put off by this book’s size. Caro converts the story of Johnson’s run for the Democratic nomination in 1960, time in the Vice-Presidency, and ascension to the Presidency into a thrilling read.
Three things I learned:
- Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, not Kennedy. I always thought those were JFK triumphs; instead, they were JFK dreams that went nowhere until Johnson became President and pushed them through Congress.
- Johnson came into Congress as a New Dealer (!). I had no idea he served over two decades in Congress before becoming Vice-President
- Robert Kennedy and Johnson hated each other. I didn’t know there was a feud between the Kennedys and Johnson, let alone that it was mostly focused between these two, or how deep their hatred of each other ran.