Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro gives us a glimpse into his own life and work. He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses; what it felt like to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he... Full description
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro gives us a glimpse into his own life and work. He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses; what it felt like to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he felt confronting the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; his encounters with witnesses, including longtime residents wrenchingly displaced by the construction of Moses' Cross-Bronx Expressway and Lady Bird Johnson acknowledging the beauty and influence of one of LBJ's mistresses. He gratefully remembers how, after years of working in solitude, he found a writers' community at the New York Public Library, and details the ways he goes about planning and composing his books. Caro recalls the moments at which he came to understand that he wanted to write not just about the men who wielded power but about the people and the politics that were shaped by that power. And he talks about the importance to him of the writing itself, of how he tries to infuse it with a sense of place and mood to bring characters and situations to life on the page.
"This is a Borzoi book published by Alfred A. Knopf."
xxiv, 207 pages ; 22 cm
Robert Allan Caro was born October 30, 1935 in New York. He went to Princeton University, where he majored in English and became managing editor of The Daily Princetonian. Caro began his professional career as a reporter with the New Brunswick Daily Home News. He took a brief leave to work for the Middlesex County Democratic Party as a publicist. He went on to six years as an investigative reporter with the Long Island newspaper Newsday. Robert Caro then went on to write about influential people in New York. His work The Power Broker was a biography on New York urban planner Robert Moses, that highlighted the fight for a proposed bridge across Long Island Sound from Rye to Oyster Bay. He then went on to write about Lyndon Johnson's life in a 5 volume set. Caro's books portray Johnson as a complex character who he also saw as a visionary progressive. He enjoyed writing about politicians and their use of power. For his biographies, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes in Biography, the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize which is awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that "best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist" two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the H.L. Mencken Award, the Carr P. Collins Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and a Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Art and Letters. In October 2007, Caro was named a "Holtzbrinck Distinguished Visitor" at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in this country and in 2012 his title Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson made the New York Times Best Seller List.