In ‘Turn Every Page,’ Robert Caro Shows the Power of a Daily Uniform

Do you take pleasure in deep dives into the literary course of? Previous guys named Bob good-naturedly arguing? Heat and affectionate storytelling? New York accents with vowels so rounded that they’re completely spherical? Then Flip Each Web page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb will likely be a veritable feast. 

The documentary, launched in 2022, is a uncommon look into the lengthy, fruitful, and generally contentious relationship between legendary political author Robert Caro and his legendary editor Robert Gottlieb. (The director is the latter’s daughter, Lizzie Gottlieb.) The 2 males began working collectively in 1970 on The Energy Dealer, Caro’s gargantuan Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Robert Moses. (Although it clocks in at 700,000 phrases, Gottlieb minimize 350,000 from the unique manuscript.) They continued collaborating with Caro’s multi-volume, ongoing biography of Lyndon B. Johnson. Lately, Caro, 87, and Gottlieb, 91, are within the midst of what would be the fifth and closing installment.  

It’s extraordinarily satisfying to observe two folks on the prime of their sport who’re, above all, motivated by the work itself. One telling anecdote: When a younger Caro was looking for an editor for The Energy Dealer, he was being courted by 4 potential candidates. Three of them tried to impress him with lunch on the 4 Seasons and guarantees of fame. The fourth, Gottlieb, was too busy to depart his workplace, so he ordered sandwiches for himself and Caro to his desk. The remainder is historical past.

Flip Each Web page additionally led to a different profound revelation on my half: Is Robert Caro not simply considered one of our nice American literary icons however … considered one of our nice American model icons? 

Sony Footage

For the previous 50 years, as seen within the film, Caro has been sticking to roughly one look. Darkish go well with, crimson tie. Actual heads may also acknowledge a quick cameo by a shawl he wore in Ric Burns’s New York: A Documentary Movie (1999).  

Showing at an occasion with longtime fan Conan O’Brien? Darkish go well with, crimson tie. 

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