Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Reviews LBJ Biography for The Times

May 02, 2012

It's a new role for Bill Clinton: book reviewer.

The globetrotting former president took time out from his schedule to write a 1,500-word review of a long-awaited biography about one of his predecessors, President Lyndon B. Johnson, for the New York Times.

Clinton praises the book, Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power," and the 36th president in his review, which was posted online today and will appear on the cover of The Times' Book Review section this Sunday.

"With this fascinating and meticulous account … Robert Caro has once again done America a great service," Clinton writes.

As a politician, Clinton was notorious for running late and speaking well past the allotted time. His infamous speech at the 1988 Democratic went on for so long, it nearly wrecked his national political career before it began.

But Clinton was a model freelancer for The Times, meeting all deadlines and submitting a tightly organized and written essay after he was told "he could have as much space as he wanted," said Sam Tanenhaus, the editor of The Times Book Review.

"We hardly touched it," Tanenhaus added. "We do a vigorous fact check of every review. This one barely needed it. There was almost no work to do. He gave us a finished piece of copy." read more