Based on emails I regularly receive, as well as comments posted to this site, I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting the fifth, and final, installment of Robert Caro’s magisterial series on Lyndon B. Johnson.
In late 2017 I read and reviewed the four existing volumes of this series as part of my initial tour through the best presidential biographies.
Frequent visitors to this site told me to expect a once-in-a-lifetime literary experience and they weren’t wrong! To understand what I mean, read my reviews of volumes I, II, III and IV. Better yet, read the series itself.
The first volume in this series was published in 1982; the most recent volume in 2012. Simple extrapolation suggests the final volume should be complete some time in 2022 (and that Caro will have spent over half his life on this series).
Many of you were understandably upset when Caro published his sixth book last year and it was NOT the long-awaited final volume in the series.
Well, the end may be in sight, if just barely.
In this New York Times article published yesterday (subscription may be required) Caro informs impatient readers that he has written about 600 pages of the final volume. Unfortunately, that only covers the first 1/3 of Johnson’s presidency. Or, as Caro told his interviewer, “It’s going to be a very long book.”
Let’s continue to wish for excellent health, undisturbed attention and a productive new year for the eighty-four-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning author.