voracious reader with a certain verbal attitude

Posts tagged LBJ

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In every crisis in his life, he had worked until the weight dropped off his body, and his eyes sank into his head, and his face grew gaunt and cavernous, and he trembled with fatigue, and the rashes on his hands grew raw and angry; and whenever, at the end of one more of a very long line of very long days, he realized that there was still one more task that should be done, he would turn without a word hinting at fatigue to do it, to do it perfectly. His career had been a story of manipulation, deceit, and ruthlessness, but it had also been a story of an intense physical and spiritual striving that was utterly unsparing; he would sacrifice himself to his ambition as ruthlessly as he sacrificed others.

The Johnson Years: A Congressman Goes To War" by Robert Caro in The New Yorker in 1989. I have been saving Caro’s LBJ biographies for my next bout of pneumonia, but it’s sentences like these that make me wonder why I should wait that long.

My friend Josh pointed out to me earlier today that, in honor of the forthcoming release of the next installment in the LBJ saga (The Passage of Power! Pre-order today!), The New Yorker has released from their archives the seven excerpts from earlier volumes that they’ve published so far. At first I was a little annoyed that the excerpts can only be viewed on their fancy pdf-viewer, but then I kept being delighted by the advertisements alongside the article, the finest salesmanship 1989 had to offer. I am pretty sure they are still running some of the exact same ads, which is soothing. Anyway, here’s the link to the archived pieces. I’m a little scared they’re going to take them away again next week so I’m reading them faster than is good for me, and now I’m a little brainsick.

Filed under robert caro longreads LBJ presidential biographies