⇠ Books

Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 2)

Author: Robert Caro

tl;dr: The second and shortest of what is the goat of biographies. Most critics write this one off as the worst of the series, I disagree - it’s second IMO.

First, it’s a page turner. Second, we learn about Lyndon’s true character that sets the stage for the rest of the series.

Two things stuck with me.

1) When he was campaigning for the Senate his helicopter fell from 20 ft hitting the ground and bouncing back up miraculously. The upshot? He didn’t notice. That type of focus is what’s needed to be as successful as he became. He also was hospitalized he campaigned so hard in his first House race.

2) How blatantly corrupt he was. The story of ballot box 13 is one for the ages. Running against Coke Stevenson, an immensely popular and moral Governor, he used every trick in the book including buying votes.

The series is a must read.


Amazon: Means of Ascent

First published on May 23, 2020