Robert A Caro

Means of Ascent
  • Means of Ascent

  • ‘The greatest biography of our era … Essential reading for those who want to comprehend power and politicsThe Times

    Robert A. Caro’s legendary, multi-award-winning biography of US President Lyndon Johnson is a uniquely riveting and revelatory account of power, political genius and the shaping of twentieth-century America.

    In this second instalment we witness a momentous turning point in American politics: the tragic last stand of the old politics versus the new. Following Johnson through his service in the Second World War, it describes the foundation and the myths of his long-concealed fortune. The explosive heart of the book is Caro’s revelation of the shocking true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, which Johnson won with the the ‘87 votes that changed history’.

Robert A. Caro has been described as ‘the greatest political biographer of our times’ (Sunday Times) and ‘the most revered historian of his generation’ (New York Times). His first book, The Power Broker, published in 1974, was described in 2015 as ‘one of the greatest non-fiction works ever written’ (Sunday Times) and his ongoing multi-volume work The Years of Lyndon Johnson has been described as ‘the greatest biography of our era’ (The Times). With these books he has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, twice won the National Book Award and three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has also been awarded virtually every other major literary honour, including the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in the United States. Born in 1935, he graduated from Princeton University, later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and was an investigative reporter for Newsday for six years. He lives with his wife, the writer Ina Caro, in New York City, where he is at work on the fifth and final volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson.