May 24: Week in Review

May 24: Week in Review

In our house, it was the last week of school for 2013-14, including a special kindergarten graduation. But the excitement didn’t end there, with back-to-back days of tornado warnings in Denver — including some localized flash flooding outside the Independence Institute’s Freedom Embassy on Thursday afternoon (see picture above).

From the Independence Institute

Finished One Good(read) Book This Week
Master of the Senate (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #3)Master of the Senate by Robert A. Caro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third and most hefty volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson series, this Pulitzer Prize-winner is no casual reading experience. Anyone with a healthy appreciation of the art of politics, America’s 20th century civil rights struggle, or the potential of journalistic biography should consider making the commitment to read this book. Johnson’s meteoric rise to power within the U.S. Senate, and his systematic success at helping to transform the institution during the 1950s, get a thorough and intimate treatment.

Caro sets the stage by recapping the Senate’s history from the Founding to the end of World War II. He then recounts how Johnson assumed the role of majority leader and wielded the power like no one before (and perhaps, no one since). Watching how the Texan and future president threaded the needle between racist segregationists on one end of the caucus and radical liberals on the other to marshal through creative but largely symbolic civil rights legislation is an amazing tale in its own right. By the end of the 1,040 pages, I was left to wonder if Johnson wouldn’t have been wiser to keep his seat in Congress rather than join the Democratic national ticket in 1960, ultimately reaching the White House. But the man’s ambition was too lofty and all-consuming to let his unrivaled political skills remain in the legislative branch of government.

View all my reviews

Top Facebook Links of the Week

  1. Still Brilliantly Funny After 50 Years: The Half-Century Anniversary of Dr. Strangelove (New Yorker)
  2. Good Thing Our College Grads Have All Life’s Answers: Dear Class of 2014: Thanks for Not Disinviting Me (Bloomberg View)
  3. Unfaithful, Marijuana-Smoking, Atheist, Septuagenarian Political Novice: What is the One Trait that Most Americans Don’t Want in a President? (PJ Media)
  4. Thanks for Nothing, Central Planners: Denver Adds Density, EPA Removes Gas Stations (Watchdog Wire Colorado)
  5. Not if You Have Time to Read This Blog: Are Americans Too Busy? (Big Think)

Twitter Verse of the Week: “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10 (ESV)

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