At the stroke of 5 p.m. — closing time at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin — Robert Caro rode the elevator from the reading room to the lobby, wearing his characteristic navy blazer, gray slacks and grin. It had been another good day at the office.
“You know what the baseball players said? ‘I’d pay them to let me play this game?’ I think I’d pay them to let me go through these archives,” said the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author, who’d spent the day reading cables between Lyndon Johnson and his commanders in Vietnam for his fifth and final book in his “The Years of Lyndon Johnson” series, a project approaching its fifth decade that has made Caro the most lauded political biographer in modern times and a decades-long source of irritation for Johnson acolytes, who think the biographer is too hard on his subject.
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