In his sixth book, Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing, Robert A. Caro shares the methods and motivations he employs while writing biographies that are ever-centered on the nature of power in America.
“Considering that the 83-year-old averages a book a decade, his fans might wonder whether Working will reset the clock that started in 2012, when the fourth book of his multivolume magnum opus, The Years of Lyndon Johnson, was published,” said Jennifer Szalai in a review published in The New York Times.
Caro talks a lot about power in Working. It can corrupt, yes, but not always. “Once you get enough power, once you’re there, where you wanted to be all along, then you can see what the protagonist wanted to do all along, because now he’s doing it,” he says. “What power always does is reveal.”
“There are a number of anecdotes in Working that Caro has shared before — after all, his books are so comprehensive that it only makes sense for, say, Means of Ascent, the second book in the Johnson series, to include a section on how Caro tracked down Luis Salas, a former voting official who confessed to helping Johnson steal the 1948 Senate election,” added Szalai.
In a review published in ft.com. Richard Lambert said that Caro’s books are not biographies in the normal sense of the word. What interests him is political power: Where it comes from, why, how it is exercised and how it bears on the lives of the powerless.