Robert Caro on the Importance of Analog Research in a Digital Age

Historians in the News
tags: Robert Caro, research, archives

Four decades ago, Robert A. Caro began writing a multipart biography he calls The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Over 3,000 pages and a Pulitzer later, he’s still working on the fifth and (allegedly) final volume. 

“In writing about me and my hopes of finishing, [journalists] often express their doubts of that happening in a sarcastic phrase: ‘Do the math,’ ” Caro, 83, writes in the introduction to Working, a new book about his research. 

Yet concern over longevity might be better suited to his tools. Caro writes first drafts longhand, then types them up, complete with carbon copies, on a Smith-Corona Electra 210 typewriter. He spoke to Popular Mechanics about the equipment that has facilitated some of the best historical writing of our time, or any time.

Read entire article at Popular Mechanics

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