The New York State Archives Partnership Trust will host an evening of conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Robert Caro and noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Known for his interest in the nature of power in American democracy, Caro will be awarded the 2011 Empire State Archives and History Award of the Archives Partnership Trust.
Caro’s first book was The Power Broker (1974), a landmark, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of New York City urban planner Robert Moses. Eminent American journalist Theodore H. White called it, “A masterpiece of American reporting…- an elegantly written and enthralling work of art.” Leading political reporter David Halberstam proclaimed it, “Surely the greatest book ever written about a city.” The New York magazine reviewer called The Power Broker, “The most absorbing, detailed, instructive, provocative book ever published about the making and raping of modern New York City and environs and the man who did it…-. A monumental work, a political biography and political history of the first magnitude.”
For the past three decades, Caro’s writing has been devoted to a prize-winning series of books on the life and career of Lyndon B. Johnson, including The Path to Power (1982), Means of Ascent (1990), and Master of the Senate (2002), which earned Caro a second Pulitzer Prize. The final LBJ volume, tentatively titled The Presidency, is currently a work in progress. Writing in the New York Times, Jill Abramson called the first three volumes, “A panoramic study,” and said, “Combining the best techniques of investigative reporting with majestic storytelling ability, Caro has created a vivid, revelatory institutional history as well as a rich hologram of Johnson’s character.” Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Steve Neal called, Master of the Senate, “Probably the best book ever written about the U.S. Senate. A terrific study of power politics.”
Other honors received by Caro include the National Book Critics Circle Award (twice), and the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize (awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that “best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist”), the H.L. Mencken Award, and an award in literature and a gold medal in biography from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2010, Caro received the National Humanities Award from President Obama.
In advance of the program, a ticketed reception to honor Caro will be held at The Egg from 5:30-7:00 p.m. To learn more, contact Grazia Yaeger at (518) 474-1228. Proceeds will benefit the New York State Archives and Archives Partnership Trust.