If you haven’t read Robert Caro’s series of Lyndon Johnson biographies, I highly recommend that you do so. (You should also read his biography of Robert Moses! It’s great!) They are the only books that I recommend to anyone. Sometimes you’ll read a book and you’ll be like, “Oh, Jeff would like The Hunger Games,” or you read a book and you’re like, “You know who I think would really enjoy The Twilight Games? Sally,” or you read a book and you call Francine up and say, “Francine, you should read The Harry Potter Games.” But the Robert Caro biographies of Lyndon Johnson are for everyone. They’re just such an incredible accomplishment because they somehow manage to be completely engrossing and compelling (what people in the biz call a “page-turner”) for thousands of pages while talking about the personal and professional life of a man who died before most of you were born, and also describing/explaining the inner workings of congressional floor votes, the Texas hill country, Robert Kennedy, and the Tennessee Valley Power Authority. Great great books, please read those books. Anyway, at one point they talk about how after Lyndon Johnson became president, he rounded up every copy of his high school yearbook that he could find, which was apparently all of the copies of his high school yearbook in existence, and had the photo of himself removed so that to this day we do not have a copy of Lyndon Johnson’s high school yearbook photo. What a genius! So smart. THE PAST IS THE PAST SO KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT OF IT! Too bad for Aaron Paul that he didn’t think to do that, but that’s why one man was the president who passed civil rights legislation and the other was just plain old Jesse Pinkman. (Via BuzzFeed.)

Comments (20)
  1. He used to be Asian?!

  2. Gabe thinks he’s cool because he can read…

  3. I have a feeling that maybe a lot of us should refrain from talking about other people’s yearbook photos. #glasshouses #stones

  4. Truly the Taylor Hanson of yearbook photos.

  5. Really dig those dancing dudes at the bottom of the page.

  6. One year they offered small (like 2″x1.5″ or something) stickers of your photos and I got LOADS of them and would cut around my face and stick it over the faces of heroines on romance novel covers in second hand book stores because I was Punk Rock and fuck the man and his romance novels.

  7. That’s probably what he looked like when Walt taught him.

  8. Haha, that sounds like something a tech geek billionaire would do (I’m not naming any Zuckerbergs here, could be any tech geek). Seriously though, how bad was Lyndon Johnson’s yearbook photo? It’s not as if he looks so great in any of the pictures I’ve seen and somehow those still exist.

  9. I saw the photo of Aaron Paul’s high school yearbook earlier today and the whole time from then to now I’ve been thinking how exciting it is going to be to read Kelly’s excitement! She’s gonna say so much great stuff about Aaron Paul and how great he is and remember that time he was on Breaking Bad? That was great. And then I got this. And, don’t get me wrong, there are words that Gabe wrote. Some of them are even pretty smart. But…I guess I’m just disappointed. Some days you know that the cafeteria is going to have lentil soup which is really great (the way this cafeteria makes it) and pretty healthy which is a nice bonus, and so you look forward to it all day, and then you get to the cafeteria and the lentil soup just tastes different, like maybe someone else made it and they didn’t follow the recipe which meant that they left out whatever makes it so delicious, cause I guess it wasn’t the lentils!

    Anyway, thanks for the lentil soup, Gabe. #AaronPaulForever

  10. I cannot tell a lie, I would have crushed it. I would have crushed it hard, friends. Look at those locks!

  11. The Degrassi prom was awesome.

  12. i’ve only read the first of the lyndon johnson books, which is a huge misstep, as johnson is definitely in my top five presidents. maybe top three. and maybe, if certain things are discounted, number one. ugh, such a nerd. i haven’t read the moses book for a handful of lazily justifiable reasons involving my complicated relationship with both urban planning and new york city. a friend of mine on facebook had his profile photo taken in front of moses’ grave. is this my worst comment, or is today my worst hangover? great mysteries.

    • have you read Theodore Rex? i just picked that up and hope to complete it this fall. it will be my first presidential biography. any other recommendations? also, your friend and i are kindred, because last summer i drove out to brooklin, maine to see e.b. white’s maine homestead, and his grave. if you are wondering where brooklin, maine is, the answer is way, way out there. totally worth it.

      • i read the much vaunted “team of rivals” about lincoln and his cabinet, which was pretty good, though i recently read that most historians hate doris kearns goodwin, because she has poor methodology and does a little too much embroidery in her writing. and i totally read clinton’s autobiography, which struck me as too middle of the road, much like the guy himself. and in general, for other good biographies, i always recommend ‘american prometheus’ about j robert oppenheimer, the father of the bomb.

  13. Lyndon B also killed Kennedy, so… you know.

  14. we just bought the caro book on Robert Moses this past weekend! after searching for it in the new york public library, we were delighted/dismayed to find ALL 87 copies are checked out and there is a waiting list of 51 people. so we put a hold on it and figured it would become available in december, but then on a walkabout, we passed the housing works bookstore and decided to check with them and lo, they had a FIRST EDITION for 15 dollars, because it was missing its book jacket. this is the true story of when real people stop politely waiting for the NYPL to alert them a book is available and start being real by purchasing it from nonprofit organization.

    the degree to which gabe’s referencing the caro LBJ series and exhorting us all to also read the Moses book excited me may be a little nerdy, but i am okay with it.

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