Robert Caro Quotes


You have to be an extremely good reader to appreciate what a good writer is. There are some people who are completely insensitive to good writing.

You come in off the street through the doors of the theater. You sit down. The lights go down and the curtain goes up. And you're in another world.

Power doesn't always corrupt. Power can cleanse. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals.

The ballet embodies the notes of music. And sometimes you almost feel like you can see the notes dance up there on the stage.

Someday a political genius will come along and make the Senate work.

Every president has to live with the result of what Lyndon Johnson did with Vietnam when he lost the trust of the American people in the presidency.

I never went to a ballet until I was 45 years old. I don't know why.

Ballet is sort of a mystery to me. And I don't want to unravel that mystery.

Everything seems to be going faster and faster. It's really harder to create something that endures. The New York City Ballet has succeeded in doing that.

The New York City Ballet is obviously speaking to a whole new generation and bringing it the same wonder and beauty that it brought previous generations.

I deliberately made an effort not to become an expert on the ballet.

Sometimes during a ballet I'll look around and see all these rows of intent faces concentrating on this beautiful thing up on the stage.

At the ballet you really feel like you're in the presence of something outside the rest of your life. Higher than the rest of your life.

The moment the curtain rose on that first ballet I knew something wonderful and new had come into my life. I can still see the first scene. The ballet was Divertimento No. 15

I like new ballets because they're totally new. As you get older new experiences are harder and harder to come by so it's pretty great to have a new experience.

You can use a biography to examine political power but only if you pick the right guy.

I am trying to make clear through my writing something which I believe: that biography- history in general- can be literature in the deepest and highest sense of that term.

I never wanted to do biography just to tell the life of a famous man. I always wanted to use the life of a man to examine political power because democracy shapes our lives.

Herman Brown was a businessman who wanted value for money spent. His relationships with politicians were measured by that criterion.

I trained myself to be organized

Robert Moses wasn't elected to anything. We're taught that in a democracy power comes from being elected. He had more power than anyone and he held it for 48 years

I don't think of my books as being biographies. I never had any interest in doing a book just to write the life of a great man. I had zero interest in that. My interest is in power. How power works.

Nobody believes this but I write very fast.

I really wanted there to be something in my life that I enjoy just for the beauty of it.

I try to have a mood or a rhythm for a chapter

If it's coming near the end of a chapter and I'm really getting into it I tend to get up earlier and earlier just because I'm excited to get to work.

I think President Obama has done more than he is given credit for.

When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do then you see what the guy always wanted to do.

If things are going well if the writing's coming along I jump out of bed happy. And if the previous day has been bad I get out of bed disgruntled.

Most Sundays with the exception of football Sundays I work because I don't take days off as long as I'm working on something that's supposed to be all in the same mood.

You know my first three or four drafts you can see are on legal pads in long hand. And then I go to a typewriter and I know everybody's switching to a computer. And I'm sort of laughed at.

The right of a minority is so important in a democracy.

I used to work very long hours. Then I started to realize that the stuff that I was writing in the late afternoons I was generally throwing out. So I quit earlier than I used to.

I sometimes feel that if your book sells more than 20 years then there's something in it that you can say gee I did something that endures that's timeless

To my mind the prose in a non-fiction work that's going to endure has to be of the same quality as the prose in a work of fiction that endures.

There's a real feeling when you know you're getting it right. It's a physical feeling.

I was trying to learn about Lyndon Johnson when he was young and creating his first political machine in the Texas hill country. I moved there for three years. You had to learn that world.

My interest is in power. How power works.

Long Island is shaped the way it is largely because of Robert Moses. Long Island is a perfect example of how political power shapes people's lives every day.

As you get older you sometimes feel that it's harder and harder to get something new and wonderful to come into your life.

My predictions are notably inaccurate.

Lyndon Johnson as majority leader of the United States Senate he made the Senate work.

The Senate is an unknowing world