This is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country. The Path to Power reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. It follows him from the Hill Country to New Deal Washington, from his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut as Congressman, his heartbreaking defeat in his first race for the Senate, and his attainment, nonetheless, at age 31, of the national power for which he hungered.
In this book, we are brought as close as we have ever been to a true perception of political genius and the American political process. Means of Ascent, Book Two of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was a number-one national best seller and, like The Path to Power, received the National Book Critics Circle Award.
©1981, 1982 Robert A. Caro, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By PauseToThink on 14-10-15

Compelling story of a complex man

I had resisted reading a biography of Lyndon Johnston partly because I instinctively disliked him, my knowledge of him having come mainly from books about JFK. When the two are
compared, Johnston always seemed the lesser man, a large, loud, burly Texan who resented JFK's presidency and schemed against him. Having read so many excellent and positive reviews of Robert A Caro, and being interested in the mid 20th century setting, I decided to give it a go. I'm so glad I did. I can't honestly say I now like Johnston, but the character who emerges from Caro's flowing narrative and Grover Gardner's impeccable and utterly listenable to narration is so complex, compelling and interesting that I cannot wait to start the next volume. Johnston may not have been likeable, but there is no doubt that he was clever, ambitious, manipulative and so phenomenally capable that he drove himself to heights no one could ever have imagined.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 09-07-14

Makes politics utterly compelling

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely: it casts an extraordinary light on the whole period of the late 50s and early 60s, through its focus on Lyndon Johnson's troubled journey to the Presidency of the USA, and it does so in an utterly compelling way.

What other book might you compare The Path to Power to, and why?

It is Shakesperian in its focus on the hunger for power, and the emotions that go with the struggle to achieve it.

Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Never listened to this reader before, but I think he is superb for the demands of this very, very long book.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Desire for Power

Any additional comments?

I now look forward to reading the other volumes of Caro's biography of LBJ.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Casper Paludan on 30-07-14

Just fantastic...

If you could sum up The Path to Power in three words, what would they be?

Riveting, dramatic, instructive. The story really is riveting. The initial description of the Hill Country in Texas is so fantastic, petic, dramatic, revealing, evocative, and rich, that I have gone back several times to listen to it . And I will do so again.

The description of Lyndon's childhood, his fathers travails, rise, and demise and the effect on the family and the boy, are utterly unmatched in contrast and drama. Finally, the way Lyndon copes with it all, using his bright and dark sides to get ahead, ingeniously in both, is very instructive. I believe one can learn as much if not more from the 80% successes than the 100% successes, because their moral or other failings make them come alive more and even a sleazy scheme should be learned from, in that it took drive and courage to perform it, and THAT is never a bad trait to have.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mr. Sam, Lyndon's dad, is a very powerful and tragic figure and as he falls from grace, and we witness it by painstaking degrees, we develop a love for this character that makes us think of him long after the book is done. I find myself wondering what would have happened if he hadn't done that last unadvisable thing, made that last unsound investment....could he have swung back from failure?...

Which scene was your favorite?

I won't give away the plot by giving a thorough description. It feels like a novel eventhough it isn' I know it's silly but I think you should have the pleasure of discovering it yourself.

Lyndon was courting a young lady and her dad didn't think Lyndon a suitable husband for his daughter. the way he tried to humiliate Lyndon is very dramatic. And the way Lyndon got back at him and the family years later, even more so.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made my eyes go wide and it made me shake my head and it moved me.

Any additional comments?

Totally get this, you won't regret it! Also, read The Power Broker

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By David C. Daggett on 14-12-13

The Best of all Biographies

Where does The Path to Power rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's hard to imagine a better book. I was so enamored with Master and Passage that I listened to them twice. The first 120 pages of Master should be required reading in high school classes.

Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Mr Gardner is the one and only narrator who makes this work. Perfect timing, perfect voice.

Any additional comments?

I literately waited 10 years for Caro/Gardner to make this happen and I'm thrilled they did it. I've listened to over 200 audio books and the Caro/Gardner combo is unsurpassed. "5 star" stuff is easy to think but this one makes it true.

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28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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