Dallas, November 22, 1963

by Robert Caro

Reviewed by Robert W. Frye

“Dallas: November 22, 1963” is a completely gripping, but unsatisfying account of the events of that fateful day when President John F. Kennedy was shot and assassinated while riding in an open motorcade through cheering crowds in downtown Dallas.  This fast-paced e-book single is an excerpt from Robert Caro’s book, “The Passage of Power,” the fourth volume in Caro’s monumental and highly acclaimed biographical series, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson.” 

The source of this e-book single is both its strength and its weakness.  Caro brilliantly chronicles of the life of Johnson.  He provides readers with the unforgettable saga of a man driven by often ruthless ambition to achieve the pinnacle of power in American society – the Presidency of the United States.  On November 22, 1963, at the moment when JFK was pronounced dead, Johnson finally realized his goal after nearly forty years in politics, including three bitter and humiliating years as Vice President under JFK.  Caro presents the events of this day as they unfold from a perspective that’s completely focused on Johnson: his look, demeanor, actions and reactions, as revealed by Caro’s careful research of documents, recordings, and interviews with many of those immediately around him on that day.   We witness the transformation of a man who’s “dog faced” in the morning to one with a face “cast in bronze” as he assumes the mantle of the presidency.  Unfortunately, those readers interested in a fuller account of the day; perhaps looking for information on JFK’s actions and demeanor as well as details on the assassination itself and its immediate aftermath, will be sorely disappointed.   It’s fascinating reading, but feels unfinished, because of its one-dimensionality.

Robert Frye has read the biographies of every American president.


Buy the e-book single “Dallas: November 22, 1963” at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore

1 reed=poor; 2 reeds=average; 3 reeds=good; 4 reeds=excellent
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