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Six Books, Six New York Times Book Review Covers

Since the 1974 publication of The Power Broker, every book by Robert Caro has appeared on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. It’s possible that no other author has had their work acknowledged in this way.

Photo by Scott Heins for Gothamist


If You Want to See His Monument, Look Around

By Richard C. Wade, Sept. 15, 1974

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York has been launched with almost unparalleled fanfare, but even if it had been slipped quietly into the bookstores, its importance would have been quickly recognized, for it is the first extensive and comprehensive critique of one of the most powerful men of this—or any other—century.


Up From Texas

By David Herbert Donald, Nov. 21, 1982

THIS fascinating, immensely long and highly readable book is the fullest account we have — and are ever likely to have — of the early years of Lyndon Baines Johnson.


The Long Shadow of Ambition

By Ronald Steel, March 11, 1990

This, the second installment of Robert A. Caro's projected four-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, is both an immensely engrossing and deeply disturbing tale. It is a marvelous yarn, for Mr. Caro is an indefatigable investigative reporter and a skillful historian who can make the most abstract material - the planning of a highway, the withering of a crop, the rigging of an election - come vibrantly to life. Since he firmly believes that moderation in the depiction of vice is no virtue, no one is better than he in unmasking and flailing chicanery.


Master of the Senate: LBJ’s Friendly Persuasion

By Anthony Lewis, April 28, 2002

On the night of Aug. 20, 1958, the Senate was considering a bill, pushed by Southerners and Northern conservatives, to punish Earl Warren's Supreme Court by limiting its power. Liberals made a motion to table and thus kill the bill. They thought they had the votes, but the motion lost, 39 to 46. The bill was about to pass. Two of its sponsors, William E. Jenner of Indiana and John Marshall Butler of Maryland, both Republicans, were screaming, “Vote, vote.”


Seat of Power

By Bill Clinton, May 2, 2012

The Passage of Power, the fourth installment of Robert Caro’s brilliant series on Lyndon Johnson, spans roughly five years, beginning shortly before the 1960 presidential contest, including the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis and other seminal events of the Kennedy years, and ending a few months after the awful afternoon in Dallas that elevated L.B.J. to the presidency.


Robert A. Caro, Private Eye

By Harold Evans, April 16, 2019

Working is a squib for Robert A. Caro. It barely tops 200 pages. His first masterpiece, The Power Broker, 1,336 pages published in 1974, investigated how ruthlessly Commissioner Robert Moses, never elected to anything, concreted the metropolis of Manhattan, tying it to distant suburbs by expressways, bridges, parkways and beaches. Caro’s four subsequent biographies, thousands of pages about the life of our 36th president, Lyndon Johnson, await only the capstone of the fifth to complete the chronicle of the last great social-political reform movement of the American century.


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