I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Gary Wills on Robert Caro’s latest volume on LBJ

Wills has a really great review of Caro’s latest that focuses on one of the big themes of the book, the hatred between Johnson and Bobby Kennedy.   One of the interesting things in Caro’s book is that he at least rhetorically rides the fence on two big historical questions:  Did John Kennedy really back almost accidently into putting Johnson on the ticket?  Was Kennedy preparing to remove Johnson from the ticket in 1964?   Caro lays out the evidence, including accounts of Kennedy insiders who seem to believe what Bobby later said in interviews– that John Kennedy really didn’t mean to honestly offer the vice presidency to Johnson, thinking Johnson would not take that step-down in power from being Senate Majority Leader.  But there really is only one conclusion, even though Caro leaves it to the reader to make, that what Bobby said may have been what he believed, yet was not true.  Caro does a similar thing with the questions about 1964.  Wills’s review simply draws the conclusions I drew as a reader, and does not even note that they are presented as historical questions.

In any event, the review is well worth reading whether you have read Caro’s book or not.  And I want to repeat my prior recommendations of Caro’s book.  I hope to see the last volume before too many years.

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