07 January 2013


One-Star Revue returns with extra vigor in 2013. This month, we take a look at some of the best-reviewed books from last year.

The latest installment of Robert Caro's expansive biography of Lyndon B. Johnson made best-of-2012 lists all across the land. Caro is very old now, and researching the next installment in Vietnam (as he has said he will) will be a tough endeavor for him, but at least he can bask in the unqualified support and respect of readers everywhere. No one would dare to criticize the work of this nonfiction titan, right?

Ah, Internet, you never disappoint. Even removing reviews that address a potential cover-up in the matter of the JFK assassination, what riches abound:
  • "This book contains the most ungrammatical writing I have ever encountered."
  • "Are we reading serious history or merely fat Si Newhouse copy?"
  • "He never even begins to explain why the early sixties was marked by so much hope and enthusiasm and excitement."
  • "Once you read the book, and check the sources Caro uses, you can see what he is up to... Very unbalanced and selective in order to make LBJ somehow look good and presidential."
  • "The one book that Caro does seem to have read is a good one." Actually, this is an excellent burn and I plan to save it for future use.
  • "The frequent repetition of [Caro's] earlier points reads like an essay from a student lacking confidence in his own paper panties thesis."
  • "When a man of Caro's unarguable caliber gives four decades of his life to do the definitive biography of a key figure in our time, we expect him to BE THE EQUAL of his subject."
  •  "Well, without having read one word of this part, I must say, that I am disapppointed."
  • "Actually this book is not as bad as my 1 star rating would suggest, but given the old wives tales that are in this book and who this is a 1 star rating is dead on."

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