In Means of Ascent, Book Two of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro brings alive Lyndon Johnson in his wilderness years. Here, Johnson's almost mythic personality-part genius, part behemoth, at once hotly emotional and icily calculating-is seen at its most nakedly ambitious. This multifaceted book carries the President-to-be from the aftermath of his devastating defeat in his 1941 campaign for the Senate-the despair it engendered in him, and the grueling test of his spirit that followed as political doors slammed shut-through his service in World War II (and his artful embellishment of his record) to the foundation of his fortune (and the actual facts behind the myth he created about it). The culminating drama-the explosive heart of the book-is Caro's illumination, based on extraordinarily detailed investigation, of one of the great political mysteries of the century. Having immersed himself in Johnson's life and world, Caro is able to reveal the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election, for years shrouded in rumor, which Johnson was not believed capable of winning, which he "had to" win or face certain political death, and which he did win-by 87 votes, the "87 votes that changed history." Telling that epic story "in riveting and eye-opening detail," Caro returns to the American consciousness a magnificent lost hero. He focuses closely not only on Johnson, whom we see harnessing every last particle of his strategic brilliance and energy, but on Johnson's "unbeatable" opponent, the beloved former Texas Governor Coke Stevenson, who embodied in his own life the myth of the cowboy knight and was himself a legend for his unfaltering integrity. And ultimately, as the political duel between the two men quickens-carrying with it all the confrontational and moral drama of the perfect Western-Caro makes us witness to a momentous turning point in American politics: the tragic last stand of the old politics versus the new-the politics of issue versus the politics of image, mass manipulation, money and electronic dazzle.
On Earth Day 1970 20 million Americans displayed their commitment to a clean environment. It was called the largest demonstration in human history, and it permanently changed the nation's political agenda. By Earth Day 2000 participation had exploded to 500 million people in 167 countries. The seemingly simple idea—a day set aside to focus on protecting our natural environment—was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. It accomplished, far beyond his expectations, his lifelong goal of putting the environment onto the nation's and the world's political agendas. A remarkable man, Nelson ranks as one of history's leading environmentalists. He also played a major role as an early, outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, and as a senate insider was a key player in civil rights, poverty, civil liberties and consumer protection issues. The life of Nelson, a small town boy who learned his values and progressive political principles at an early age, is woven through the political history of the twentieth century. Nelson's story intersects at times with Fighting Bob La Follette, Joe McCarthy, and Bill Proxmire in Wisconsin, and with George McGovern, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Russell Long, Walter Mondale, John F. Kennedy, and others on the national scene. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David Henry. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/crvn/000017/bk_crvn_000017_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
It is impossible to live the kind of life that John Fitzgerald Kennedy lived - one of privilege, power, and pain - and not acquire a few enemies along the way. Yet few figures in American history have as oddly conflicted relationships with their political foes as did our 35th President. Historian Thomas Whalen's book sheds light on each of Kennedy's enemies, detailing the ways in which Kennedy's more fractious relationships evolved over time, affected his Presidency, and his personal life. From Richard Nixon (an early colleague and ally turned bitter opponent) to Lyndon Johnson (an initial adversary shrewdly adopted as a running mate) leading finally to Lee Harvey Oswald, whose deranged action changed the course of history, Kennedy's list of enemies is extensive, fascinating, and - five decades after his tragic demise - as legendary as he.