Caro on LBJ

I enjoyed Caro’s last book, Master of the Senate, but his latest book is something really special.

Over the last couple of chapters Caro has gently raised the tension by laying out the Bobby Baker scandal and the imminent deposition of Don Reynolds who’s testimony will likely fatally bind LBJ to his protégé.

Meanwhile, the President has gone over LBJ’s head, asking John Connally, Johnson’s former campaign manager, now Governor of Texas, to organise a series of fundraising appearances in an effort to shore up the ’64 Democratic nomination.

Desperate to curry favour with Kennedy in his home state, the Vice President is forced to leave Washington the day before Reynolds’ appearance before the Republican lead Senate Rules Committee.

Now, with Reynolds about to take the stand, Johnson finds himself at the unpopular end of a motorcade that is winding its way through downtown Dallas, Texas.

This all reads like the makings of a political pot boiler were it not for the fact that all this really happened, 50 years ago last month.