Contradictions Within Robert Caro’s Works: Exposing a Legacy Built on Mythology?

Excerpts From Arthur Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times: pp. 222-223

Excerpts From Arthur Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy and His Times: pp. 224-225

6 thoughts on “Contradictions Within Robert Caro’s Works: Exposing a Legacy Built on Mythology?

  1. Just absolutely spot on Phil! It is definitely something that needs to be brought to light. Amazing work.


  2. Sometimes, an author will purposefully misinterpret a word or phrase because the misinterpretation helps fit their view of a subject. This does a disservice to readers.
    Such does this author misinterpret the phrase “in action” regarding Lyndon Johnson and Robert Caro. The author is correct, of course, that it would be very unusual for a war plane to take off, be attacked by numerous enemy planes, and then return to base all in 13 minutes. In that kind of instance, one would certainly expect the base itself to fall under attack. That of course is not what happened, even in Johnson’s exaggerated storytelling. What Johnson did claim is still complete nonsense, but the claim was that the attack by Japanese “Zeros” went on for 13 minutes. That is what any soldier, sailor or airman will tell you is meant by “in action.” You’re not “in action” when traveling to a battlefield or eating in the Mess, and no veteran would say they were.

    Only a person with their mouth on Jumbo would believe anything that came out of Pres. Johnson’s mouth or any other orifice. It’s not necessary to stretch in this way to find things to criticize him about.


    1. Not sure what this particular “quibble” is about, but what was more interesting is that you evidently found nothing more consequential than that to criticize. Which proves one thing: You had decided long before reading that post that your sole intent was to do a “drive-by shootdown’ with whatever you could find to attack the article which documents a number of Mr. Caro’s errors and omissions, as I’ve cited. Instead, you set out to find a misstatement (that incorrectly framed the “13 minute action within a longer flight” a sentence admittedly not very artfully worded) and VIOLA!, you found one.

      Evidently, only one. If not, then please fill me in on all the others.

      That you noticed this rather benign “error” — in the face of a virtual mountain of substantive misstatements by Mr. Caro, of which you overlooked — is telling. But thanks for calling me out on it, I will make the needed adjustment.

      [Reedited/revised 8/5/2022 6:55 PM EDT]


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