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Robert Caro's Master of the Senate is a strikingly detailed look at the most pivotal years of Lyndon Johnson's pre-presidential career. I knew that much would be missing from this abridged recording, but I was shocked to find that entire chapters, as well as crucial incidents in LBJ's life, such as his heart attack, the presidential election of 1956 and many others, were ommitted. After all, it was from Caro, in one of his earlier LBJ volumes, that I learned how fearful LBJ was of a heart attack that would kill him at an early age. And after reading in such great detail about the hard-fought and crookedly won election of 1948, I was stunned to find no mention of LBJ's 1954 re-election campaign, or even the smallest discussion of Texas politics in the 50s, and how LBJ was affected by it. In short, this is the most unfortunate and poorest abridgement of a book I've ever read.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
I first read two long excerpts from this book in the New Yorker that captured the essence of LBJ, and in particular, the way he played Humbert Humphrey to serve his ends. This was missing in the audio version. Also, most critical, was the passage where LBJ, who arguably did more to advance civil rights than anyone else including Martin Luther King, asks his long-time black chauffeur if he minds being called by a nickname instead of his real name. When the chauffeur answers "yes" LBJ unleashes a stinging racist tirade on the man. That one scene captured the contradiction that was LBJ, yet is omitted from the audio book. But there were passages included that were mostly nits about vote counts etc. So an A for the book, a C for the abridged version.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful