Inaugural Rutman Lecture: Robert A. Caro on Lyndon Johnson, Sept. 27
The Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency presents
Robert A. Caro
Fifty Years Ago: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and November 22, 1963
Friday, September 27, 2013
7 p.m., 115 Murkland Hall (Richards Auditorium)
The lecture is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested. To reserve a seat, click the button below.
THIS LECTURE IS CURRENTLY SOLD OUT. SORRY!
About Robert Caro
For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, has three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award, for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year and Best Biography, and has also won virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best "exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist." In 2010 he received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.
To create his first book, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Caro spent seven years tracing and talking with hundreds of men and women who worked with, for, or against Robert Moses, including a score of his top aides. He examined mountains of files never opened to the public. Everywhere acclaimed as a modern classic, The Power Broker was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century. It is, according to David Halberstam, "Surely the greatest book ever written about a city." And The New York Times Book Review said: "In the future, the scholar who writes the history of American cities in the twentieth century will doubtless begin with this extraordinary effort."
To research The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Caro and his wife, Ina, moved from his native New York City to the Texas Hill Country and then to Washington, D.C., to live in the locales in which Johnson grew up and in which he built, while still young, his first political machine. He has spent years examining documents at the Johnson Library in Austin and interviewing men and women connected with Johnson's life, many of whom had never before been interviewed. The first volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, was cited by The Washington Post as "proof that we live in a great age of biography . . . [a book] of radiant excellence . . . Caro's evocation of the Texas Hill Country, his elaboration of Johnson's unsleeping ambition, his understanding of how politics actually work, are—let it be said flat out—at the summit of American historical writing." Professor Henry F. Graff of Columbia University called the second volume, Means of Ascent, "brilliant. No brief review does justice to the drama of the story Caro is telling, which is nothing less than how present-day politics was born." And the London Times hailed volume three, Master of the Senate, as "a masterpiece . . . Robert Caro has written one of the truly great political biographies of the modern age."
"Caro has a unique place among American political biographers," according to The Boston Globe. "He has become, in many ways, the standard by which his fellows are measured." And Nicholas von Hoffman wrote: "Caro has changed the art of political biography."
Caro graduated from Princeton University and later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ina, an historian and writer.
The Rutman Distinguished Lecture Series on the American Presidency is generously supported by J. Morgan ’84 and Tara Rutman in collaboration with the President’s Distinguished Speakers Series. The lecture series focuses on American political history with an emphasis on the modern and historical context of the American Presidency.