The Good Times

Baker, Russell

William Morrow, 1989

p. 282

Nixon, Goldwater, Humphrey, Ford, etc.—“remarkable men, all of them, but from a writer’s point of view, they were long magazine pieces who might at best, with plenty of coffee and cigarettes, be stretched into their campaign biographies. [Lyndon] Johnson was the exception. Johnson was a flesh-and-blood three-volume biography, and if you ever got it written you’d missed the key point or got the interpretation completely wrong and needed a fourth volume to set things right. He was a character out of a Russian novel, one of those human complications that filled the imagination of Dostoyevsky, a storm of warring human instincts: sinner and saint, buffoon and statesman, cynic and sentimentalist, a man torn between hungers for immortality and self-destruction.”