The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power by Robert Caro

This is a fascinating story, in a way that only a true story can be. It is the story of a young man for whom ambition was the guiding force in his life from earliest boyhood. To hear Caro tell it, Johnson was planning to be president when he was just a boy growing up in the impoverished Texas Hill Country, and this guiding star drove him hard all his life. His parents were idealists and dreamers, but Lyndon Baines Johnson saw the way they turned out and was determined to follow a different path. Never in his life did he allow principles or ideals to get in the way of his career trajectory. All his life he trimmed his sails, and in the process he achieved his goals. In many ways he is not a very admirable person, but his incredible will, his steely resolve, and his genius for the game of politics add up to make him one of the most remarkable men of his time, certainly a man worthy of a multi-volume biography. This book is a testimony to how a strong will can overcome any obstacle.

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