Books: Part Devil, Part Angel

Robert Caro's massive and magisterial Master of the Senate charts Lyndon Johnson's cunning rise

When I was a Senate Page boy long ago in the 1950s, my boss was Lyndon Johnson's young pet lizard, Bobby Baker. Senator Johnson would snap his fingers softly, and I would hustle to the cooler in the Democratic cloakroom to bring him a glass of White Rock sparkling water or dash down the marble back stairs to the Senate restaurant to fetch a dish of vanilla ice cream, which he ate at his desk on the Senate floor as he played his mighty legislative Wurlitzer.

In those days, a distinctive cast of characters populated the Senate. The spectacle seemed like...

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