Robert Caro’s New Yorker Essay: 7 New Insights Into LBJ

Historians in the News

In a riveting new account in The New Yorker, Robert Caro, the preeminent biographer of 36th president Lyndon Baines Johnson, traces the politician’s activities on the day President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Before the shots were fired, a Senate probe threatened to contaminate Johnson’s career, and magazine investigations had the Johnson family finances in their sites. Then fate rang out of the clear Texas sky.

Caro traces Johnson’s steps on Nov. 22, 1963, from the time he left Ft. Worth, Texas, with the president through his decision to take the oath of office on the runway on board Air Force One—and on to his first order as president of the United States. While the reporting itself is impeccable, it is as always Caro’s perspicuous analysis of the manipulation of power that most impresses. The Daily Beast collects seven key moments from Caro’s must-read account of one of the most fateful days in 20th-century American history....

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