• On Power

  • By: Robert A. Caro
  • Narrated by: Robert A. Caro
  • Length: 1 hr and 42 mins
  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-05-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (13 ratings)


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 has 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."
©2017 Robert A. Caro, Inc. (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 11-05-17

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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30 of 31 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer on 29-05-17

Short with little substance

I was excited for this book when I heard it was released. I haven't been able to commit to Caro's other works but was looking forward to a summary of his insights in his own words. Unfortunately, it is more a very very brief summary of Caro's history writing the books. It was interesting to hear about his experience, but it was not long enough to hear enough to get much out of his experience researching the books nor does it really spend much time on his subjects, Moses and Johnson.

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21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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