Historian Robert Caro’s eagerly awaited biography of Lyndon B. Johnson is due May 1, and The New Yorker has a long sneak preview. The excerpt recounts the assassination of President John F. Kennedy from LBJ’s perspective.
One startling scene: Shortly after Kennedy’s death, Johnson calls the attorney general for a legal opinion on where to take the oath. The only problem: that man was Robert F. Kennedy, who loathed LBJ. Right after “Robert Kennedy had been told that the brother he loved so deeply was dead… he found himself talking to a man he hated,” who was asking him how he could “without delay, formally assume his brother’s office,” Caro writes. Indeed, that bitter call “became a crucial element in the great blood feud” between the two men — “perhaps the greatest blood feud in American politics in the 20th century.”
5 revelations from Robert Caro’s gripping LBJ biography