Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-19
- Reviewer: Staff
The spouses of the world's most influential movers and shakers rarely receive similar attention to their lives, regardless of the influence they may have had, but biographer Caroli (First Ladies: Martha Washington to Michelle Obama and The Roosevelt Women) bucks the trend with this enticing and fun examination of Claudia Alta Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson. The ascendance of Lyndon B. Johnson. to the White House has been dissected and criticized since he reached the office. He was known for being rude to his closest associates, ridiculing his opponents, and blowing up on his staff. Caroli posits that if it hadn't been for his wife cleaning up his messes, L.B.J. would never have reached such political heights. Johnson was born in Karnack, Tex., to an abusive businessman of a father and a closed-off mother. Being brought up in such a tumultuous household taught Johnson ambition and drive, qualities that later would prove invaluable. As Caroli tells it, she was the real driving force behind every ally L.B.J. ever gained, and she ran interference for him with the press. Johnson changed the role of First Lady forever, and Caroli's well-researched work gives readers insight into that shift. Agent: Susan Rabiner, Susan Rabiner Literary Agency. (Nov.)