Friday, June 29, 2012

the last book I ever read (The Passage of Power, excerpt thirteen)

from Robert A. Caro's The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson:

The story of the presidency of Lyndon Johnson will be different in tone from the story of the transition in part because of the elements of his personality absent during the transition were shortly to reappear. Yet for a period of time, a brief by crucial moment in history, he had held these elements in check, had overcome them, had, in a way, conquered himself. And by doing so, by overcoming forces within him that were very difficult to overcome, he not only had held the country steady during a difficult time but had set it on a new course, a course toward social justice. In the life of Lyndon Baines Johnson, this period stands out as different from the rest, as perhaps that life's finest moment, as a moment not only masterful but, in its way, heroic.

If he had held in check these forces within him, had conquered himself, for a while, he wasn't going to be able to do it for very long.

But he had done it long enough.

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