Robert Caro - Quotes

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We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. Power can cleanse. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. ---->>>

Ballet is sort of a mystery to me. And I don't want to unravel that mystery. ---->>>

The right of a minority is so important in a democracy. ---->>>

Everyone believed the Senate could not really be led. It used to take so long to rise up through seniority. In two years Lyndon Johnson is assistant leader of his party. In four years he is the leader of his party. ---->>>

You can use a biography to examine political power, but only if you pick the right guy.

You can use a biography to examine political power, but only if you pick the right guy.

There used to be this feeling under Eisenhower and Kennedy and Roosevelt and Truman that government was a solution. Trust in the presidency fell precipitously under Johnson - real lows. And it's never come back. It's a trend that, if you're liberal, is really discouraging. ---->>>

At the ballet, you really feel like you're in the presence of something outside the rest of your life. Higher than the rest of your life. ---->>>

Lyndon Johnson, as majority leader of the United States Senate, he made the Senate work. ---->>>

My predictions are notably inaccurate. ---->>>

In a democracy, supposedly we hold power by what we do at the ballot box, so therefore the more we know about political power the better our choices should be and the better, in theory, our democracy should be. ---->>>

I really wanted there to be something in my life that I enjoy just for the beauty of it. ---->>>

I think President Obama has done more than he is given credit for. ---->>>

I trained myself to be organized. ---->>>

I try to have a mood or a rhythm for a chapter. ---->>>

I don't think of my books as being biographies. I never had any interest in doing a book just to write the life of a great man. I had zero interest in that. My interest is in power. How power works. ---->>>

I was trying to learn about Lyndon Johnson when he was young and creating his first political machine in the Texas hill country. I moved there for three years. You had to learn that world. ---->>>

It's very easy to fool yourself that you're working, you know, when you're really not working very hard. I mean, I'm very lazy. So for me, I would always have an excuse, you know, to go - quit early, go to a museum, you know. So I do everything I can to make myself remember this is a job. I keep a schedule. ---->>>

Most Sundays, with the exception of football Sundays, I work, because I don't take days off as long as I'm working on something that's supposed to be all in the same mood. ---->>>

The moment the curtain rose on that first ballet, I knew something wonderful and new had come into my life. I can still see the first scene. The ballet was Divertimento No. 15. ---->>>

Every president has to live with the result of what Lyndon Johnson did with Vietnam, when he lost the trust of the American people in the presidency. ---->>>

Sometimes during a ballet I'll look around and see all these rows of intent faces, concentrating on this beautiful thing up on the stage. ---->>>

If things are going well, if the writing's coming along, I jump out of bed happy. And if the previous day has been bad, I get out of bed disgruntled. ---->>>

The ballet embodies the notes of music. And sometimes you almost feel like you can see the notes dance up there on the stage. ---->>>

The Senate is an unknowing world. ---->>>

You come in off the street, through the doors of the theater. You sit down. The lights go down and the curtain goes up. And you're in another world. ---->>>

As you get older, you sometimes feel that it's harder and harder to get something new and wonderful to come into your life. ---->>>

I deliberately made an effort not to become an expert on the ballet. ---->>>

I finish what I have to do in the office. ---->>>

I never went to a ballet until I was 45 years old. I don't know why. ---->>>

Nobody believes this, but I write very fast. ---->>>

Someday a political genius will come along and make the Senate work. ---->>>

There's a real feeling when you know you're getting it right. It's a physical feeling. ---->>>

What would be the good of rushing? You want these books to last. ---->>>

When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do. ---->>>

You know, we're taught that in a democracy power comes from being elected. ---->>>

Now, for this book I had to learn the world of the Senate, which is really for all that's written about the Senate, an unknowing world and its mores, and the way things work with subcommittees and all. I loved learning about that. ---->>>

Everything seems to be going faster and faster. It's really harder to create something that endures. The New York City Ballet has succeeded in doing that. ---->>>

I am trying to make clear through my writing something which I believe: that biography- history in general- can be literature in the deepest and highest sense of that term. ---->>>

I like new ballets because they're totally new. As you get older, new experiences are harder and harder to come by, so it's pretty great to have a new experience. ---->>>

I never wanted to do biography just to tell the life of a famous man. I always wanted to use the life of a man to examine political power, because democracy shapes our lives. ---->>>

I sometimes feel that if your book sells more than 20 years, then there's something in it that you can say, gee, I did something that endures, that's timeless. ---->>>

I used to work very long hours. Then I started to realize that the stuff that I was writing in the late afternoons, I was generally throwing out. So I quit earlier than I used to. ---->>>

If it's coming near the end of a chapter and I'm really getting into it, I tend to get up earlier and earlier, just because I'm excited to get to work. ---->>>

If you really want to show power in its larger aspects, you need to show the effects on the powerless, for good or ill - the human cost of public works. That's what I try to do, show not only how power works but its effect on people. ---->>>

Long Island is shaped the way it is largely because of Robert Moses. Long Island is a perfect example of how political power shapes people's lives every day. ---->>>

Robert Moses wasn't elected to anything. We're taught that in a democracy power comes from being elected. He had more power than anyone, and he held it for 48 years. ---->>>

The New York City Ballet is obviously speaking to a whole new generation and bringing it the same wonder and beauty that it brought previous generations. ---->>>

Whenever I go to work I wear a jacket and a tie, because I'm inherently quite lazy, and my books take so long to do, and my publishers don't bug me, so it's so easy to fool yourself into thinking you're working harder than you really are. ---->>>

You know, my first three or four drafts, you can see, are on legal pads in long hand. And then I go to a typewriter, and I know everybody's switching to a computer. And I'm sort of laughed at. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 10-30, 1935
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Die:
Occupation: Writer
Website:

Robert Allan Caro (born October 30, 1935) is an American journalist and author known for his celebrated biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson. After working for many years as a reporter, Caro wrote The Power Broker (1974), a biography of New York urban planner Robert Moses, which was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century (wikipedia)