On Power

  • by Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by Robert A. Caro
  • 1 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original recording Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time National Book Award winner Robert A. Caro: a short, penetrating reflection on the evolution and workings of political power - for good and for ill.
In On Power, an Audible exclusive, the legendary historian Robert A. Caro reflects on what drew him as a young journalist to study political power and what his half century of reporting on New York City urban planner Robert Moses and President Lyndon Johnson have taught him about the inner workings of government and democracy.
Adapted by the author from two recent speeches and filled with thoughtful lessons and personal moments, On Power goes behind the scenes in the author's decades-long quest to understand how power works, often in ways he could have never imagined.
Listening to On Power, narrated with emotion and humor by Caro in his unmistakable New York accent, is like having a private audience with the author often hailed as our greatest living historian. Longtime fans of Caro's books, as well as those seeking a more personal introduction to his life and work, will be treated to his trademark wit and revelatory insight.
But more than anything, On Power is a timely reminder for those who want to better understand how power and government work.
In Caro's words: "Why political power? Because it shapes all of our lives. It shapes your life in ways that you might never think about. Every time a young man goes to college on a federal education bill passed by Lyndon Johnson, that's political power. And so is a young man dying in Vietnam. Every time an elderly person is able to afford an MRI, that's Medicare. That's political power. It affects your life in all sorts of ways. My books are an attempt to explain this power.... Because the more America understands about political power, the better informed our votes will be, and then, hopefully, the better our democracy should be."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Simply extraordinary. A short masterpiece.

This is one of the greatest short pieces of non fiction memoir of its kind. And the fact that is is in Robert Caro's own voice makes it even more moving. It is part Robert Caro's first person memoir (and his long suffering wife Ina too) as well as the story of the inimitable dogged storytelling and reporting that has won him multiple Pulitzer Prizes. It is also a testament to his humanity and his reasons as to why he has spent a lifetime focused on these two biographical subjects because it is not just about power for its own sake but also because it is about power's effect on the powerless.
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- Joseph C. Kusnan

Why how power is acquired and how it is used

This time Robert Caro does his usual excellent job of writing, but not to explain how other people think and work, but why he has chosen to do the work he has essentially given his life to. No one can summarize his work as well as Caro has. I certainly will not try. But I will say I have read his two books on LBJ and am now anxious to read his book about the power broker Robert Moses, as well his third LBJ book.

His work is better than fiction. To use a familiar phrase, you can't make this stuff up.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios