New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982-2012. Four volumes. 8vo. Original cloth; dust jackets. A near-fine set, with very modest signs of shelfwear, in crisp, bright jackets, with some minor spotting to sheet edges of first two volumes. Item #406062
FIRST EDITION. A SUPERB ASSOCIATION SET, EACH WARMLY INSCRIBED by Caro to the important biographer Robert K. Massie (with two additionally inscribed to his wife, literary agent Deborah Karl). Massie, known as a popularizer of history and his epic page turners, is best remembered for his works relating to the House of Romanov. He was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for 'Peter the Great: His Life and World.' His 600-page 'Catherine the Great' won the 2012 PEN Award for Biography. Massie's first book 'Nicholas and Alexandra' (1967) is still considered the authoritative biography of the subjects.
The present set thus links two of the most prominent biographers of the modern era: Caro, known for his exhaustive research and attention to detail, was awarded the distinction twice (for 'The Power Broker' in 1975 and 'Master of the Senate' in 2003). The present set includes the complete series of Caro's exhaustive biography of LBJ to date. The fifth volume, dealing with Johnson's presidency, is forthcoming. In a 2012 essay in The New York Times, Massie ruminated on the nature of biography writing, and concluded the essay with thoughts on his friend’s massive undertaking: "[I look] forward to when I can read my friend Robert Caro’s description of his feelings when he finishes the greatest political biography of our era: his life of Lyndon Johnson. He has been writing about this subject for 38 years. He will, I know, have a lot to tell us about writing biography. And about leaving his subject behind.
The Path to Power. 1982. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: "To Robert K. Massie–– Who has the admiration of an immense public audience, of his fellow historians––and of his friend, Bob Caro. Nov. 11, 1982." There are a few penciled underlinings by Massie in the text.
Means of Ascent. 1990. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: "For Bob Massie–– My great colleague, my great friend. Precious to me in both capacities. Robert A. Caro. March 7, 1990."
Master of the Senate. 2002. Inscribed on the half-title: "For Deborah Karl and for Bob Massie, a Master of the Craft. Robert A. Caro. March 27, 2002."
The Passage of Power. 2012. Inscribed on the half-title: "For Bob Massie–– A fellow worker in the craft. From his friend, Robert A. Caro. and For Deborah Karl–– My friend of many years. RAC. April 25, 2012."
Price: $3,500.00 save 20% $2,800.00