By Larry Tye
From the New York Times bestselling writer of Satchel comes an in-depth, brilliant, and measured biography concerning the most intricate and arguable member of the Kennedy family.
heritage recalls Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the negative, and the final revolutionary knight of a bygone period of yank politics. yet Kennedy’s enshrinement within the liberal pantheon used to be really the ultimate level of a trip that had its beginnings within the conservative Fifties. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of fantasy and false impression to color an entire portrait of this singularly interesting figure.
To trap the total arc of his subject’s lifestyles, Tye attracts on unpublished memoirs, unreleased govt records, and fifty-eight containers of papers that were less than lock and key for the prior 40 years. He carried out 1000s of interviews with RFK intimates—including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have by no means spoken to a different biographer. Tye’s selection to sift in the course of the tangle of usually contradictory critiques signifies that Bobby Kennedy will stand because the definitive one-volume biography of a guy a lot cherished, yet simply as frequently misunderstood.
Bobby Kennedy’s transformation from chilly warrior to fiery liberal is a profoundly relocating own tale that still deals a lens onto of the main chaotic and confounding a long time of twentieth-century American background. the 1st half RFK’s occupation underlines what the rustic was once like within the period of Eisenhower, whereas his final years as a champion of the underclass replicate the seismic shifts wrought via the Nineteen Sixties. Nurtured at the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father, Bobby Kennedy begun his public existence as suggestions to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended it with a noble crusade to unite working-class whites with terrible blacks and Latinos in an electoral coalition that appeared poised to redraw the face of presidential politics. alongside the way in which, he grew to become up on the heart of each occasion that mattered, from the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile main issue to race riots and Vietnam.
Bare-knuckle operative, cynical White condominium insider, romantic visionary—Bobby Kennedy was once all of these items at one time or one other, and every of those facets of his character emerges within the pages of this robust and perceptive new biography.
Praise for Bobby Kennedy
“We are in Larry Tye’s debt for bringing again to existence the younger presidential candidate who . . . for a quick second, virtually part a century in the past, instilled desire for the longer term in indignant, apprehensive Americans.”—David Nasaw, The long island occasions ebook Review
“Sweeping . . . [Tye] captures RFK’s upward thrust and fall with ordinary prose strengthened by means of remarkable learn. in addition to 1000s of interviews with Kennedy intimates, together with his widow, Ethel, Tye sifted via unpublished memoirs, unreleased executive records, and packing containers of Kennedy papers that have been locked away for a few 40 years.”—USA Today
“Bobby Kennedy, who was once assassinated in the course of his 1968 presidential crusade, is remembered for his antiwar stance and for status up for civil rights and opposed to poverty. yet Tye (“Superman”) exhibits how RFK used to be no longer consistently the innovative hero yet a piece in progress—after all, Kennedy labored for Joseph McCarthy for a spell. Tye’s pages at the assassination are heart-wrenching.”—New York Post
“This biography will charm not just to these in need of a portrait of a dynamic idealist, but additionally to these looking to comprehend the sentiments of the days within which he lived.”—Henry A. Kissinger
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Additional resources for Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon
In the history of America, there have been but two non-presidents with whom our relationship was so intimate that we recognize them by their initials—RFK and MLK—and we must reach back to Teddy Roosevelt to find even a president known by an appellation as dear as Bobby. He was, in a way, our little brother, too, which made the loss that much more harrowing when, hours after his most momentous political triumph, an assassin halted his campaign of conciliation. The dueling aspects of Bobby’s political soul were part of his breeding.
He even lent William Randolph Hearst a hand in reorganizing his media empire in 1937. As for suspicions that he made his millions working the shady side of the street—raiding companies, short-selling stocks, and bootlegging—they seldom were raised in his presence or substantiated, in part because he was so cagey about his increasingly lucrative investments. Joe’s prototype was no longer his affable father, but the frosty Yankees who had blackballed him at Harvard. Add in all his other deals, as Fortune magazine would in 1957, and Joe had amassed somewhere between $200 million and $400 million—enough to make him the wealthiest Irish American on earth.
That fall he headed back to finish his degree at Harvard, where he achieved an athletic honor that had eluded Joe Jr. and Jack during their time at the college. It was more a tribute to Bobby’s fortitude than his skill on the football field, since he’d broken his leg in practice early in the season. But the coach was impressed with how he’d continued playing until he literally fell down. So, in the season-ending Harvard-Yale game, Bobby was sent in—cast and all—for just long enough to qualify for the cherished crimson-and-white H signaling that he had played for a varsity team.
Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye