When Robert Caro Told His Wife Ina They’d Be Moving to the Hill Country of Texas

From Evan Thomas’s review in the Washington Post of Robert Caro’s book, Breaking: Researching, Interviewing, Writing:

In 1975, “The Power Broker” won Caro the Pulitzer Prize, his first of two.

Along the way, Caro went broke. His wife had to sell their house, without telling him first. Instead of speeding up, Caro intentionally slowed down. He still writes in longhand, copying drafts with an old-fashioned typewriter. When he interviews people, he often writes himself a reminder in his notebook: “SU” — for “shut up!” Caro understands that human nature abhors a vacuum. Keep quiet and interview subjects will talk — eventually.

Having blown open urban power, Caro set his sights on national power. He told his forbearing wife, Ina, who is his trusted researcher, that they would be moving to the Hill Country of Texas for three years to begin work on the early life of LBJ. “Why can’t you do a biography of Napoleon?” asked Ina.


  1. Barnard Collier says

    Dear Jack,

    If you decided to write a biography, who would you choose, and why?


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