• Master of the Senate

  • The Years of Lyndon Johnson
  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Stephen Lang
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Abridged
  • Release date: 04-19-02
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.4 (197 ratings)

Regular price: $23.93

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Publisher's Summary

Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. At the heart of the book is its unprecedented revelation of how legislative power works in America, how the Senate works, and how Johnson, in his ascent to the presidency, mastered the Senate as no political leader before him had ever done.Caro demonstrates how Johnson's political genius enabled him to reconcile the unreconcilable: to retain the support of the southerners who controlled the Senate while earning the trust - or at least the cooperation - of the liberals, led by Paul Douglas and Hubert Humphrey, without whom he could not achieve his goal of winning the presidency. And we hear him achieve the impossible: convincing southerners that although he was firmly in their camp as the anointed successor to their leader, Richard Russell, it was essential that they allow him to make some progress toward civil rights.Robert A. Caro has won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, as well as two National Book Critics Circle Awards and other honors. Master of the Senate is told with an abundance of rich detail that could only have come from Caro's peerless research.
©2002 Robert A. Caro; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.
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Critic Reviews



Pulitzer Prize Winner, Biography or Autobiography, 2003
National Book Award Winner, Best Non-fiction, 2002
"There is something uniquely mesmerizing about the wily, combative Lyndon Johnson as portrayed by Caro. (Publishers Weekly)
A model of social, psychological, and political insight, it is not just masterful; it is a masterpiece." (Amazon.com)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Shelly Brisbin on 09-05-04

Abridgement bad

Robert Caro's Master of the Senate is a strikingly detailed look at the most pivotal years of Lyndon Johnson's pre-presidential career. I knew that much would be missing from this abridged recording, but I was shocked to find that entire chapters, as well as crucial incidents in LBJ's life, such as his heart attack, the presidential election of 1956 and many others, were ommitted. After all, it was from Caro, in one of his earlier LBJ volumes, that I learned how fearful LBJ was of a heart attack that would kill him at an early age. And after reading in such great detail about the hard-fought and crookedly won election of 1948, I was stunned to find no mention of LBJ's 1954 re-election campaign, or even the smallest discussion of Texas politics in the 50s, and how LBJ was affected by it. In short, this is the most unfortunate and poorest abridgement of a book I've ever read.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful


By James on 07-17-03

Good, but abridged version off

I first read two long excerpts from this book in the New Yorker that captured the essence of LBJ, and in particular, the way he played Humbert Humphrey to serve his ends. This was missing in the audio version. Also, most critical, was the passage where LBJ, who arguably did more to advance civil rights than anyone else including Martin Luther King, asks his long-time black chauffeur if he minds being called by a nickname instead of his real name. When the chauffeur answers "yes" LBJ unleashes a stinging racist tirade on the man. That one scene captured the contradiction that was LBJ, yet is omitted from the audio book. But there were passages included that were mostly nits about vote counts etc. So an A for the book, a C for the abridged version.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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