Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., chronicles the short life of the Kennedy family's second presidential hopeful in "a story that leaves the reader aching ...Show synopsisArthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., chronicles the short life of the Kennedy family's second presidential hopeful in "a story that leaves the reader aching for what cannot be recaptured" (Miami Herald). Schlesinger's account vividly recalls the forces that shaped Robert Kennedy, from his position as the third son of a powerful Irish Catholic political clan to his concern for issues of social justice in the turbulent 1960s. ROBERT KENNEDY AND HIS TIMES is "a picture of a deeply compassionate man hiding his vulnerability, drawn to the underdogs and the unfortunates in society by his life experiences and sufferings" (Los Angeles Times).Hide synopsis
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Basically, the book is extremely thorough and I believe that it is the authoritative text on Bobby's life. Other biographies that focus specifically on different attributes of Robert Kennedy (his courses of action regarding JFK's death, etc.) are supplemental to this fundamental treatise by one of the people that knew him the best.
When I was in graduate school in the fall of 1969 a fellow student and roommate took
his final English exam. The question was WHY? His answer was WHYNOT? and he
got an A. Those two words would best describe the life of Robert Kennedy: Why not
have the best education system in the world for all American children? Why not have
a clean environment? Why not have peace? Why not conquer world hunger? Why not
dismantle the nuclear war heads? Arthur Schlesinger broke bread with the Kennedys
and he was possibly the best historian to write their histories. Both A Thousand Days
and this book took an unpartial look at JFK and his attorney general and brother Robert
Kennedy. Regardless of how the Vietnam War escalated during JFK's administration
Robert Kennedy turned course and wanted to end the war. RFK took a stance on the
state of Israel and that cost him his life. Wherever RFK walked there left impressions
of a man with a large heart and this 60 year old adult will always be thankfull that he
was put on this earth.
The mass paperback of this book came out in the fall of 1979 when I was working as
a chemistry tutor at the department of chemistry at Towson State University in Maryland.
Schlesinger broke bread with the Kennedy's and probably had the closest relationship
with them of any historian of his time. This massive biography was easy to read because I loved the Kennedy family and after JFK's death wanted to have a library of
them that I never amassed. If I wanted someone to write my biography of me I would
at the very least have broken bread with her. Regardless of the biographies that came
later this is one to read . It took my leisure time to read it as I was working as a chemistry
tutor. At the time I was spending my three day weekends in Annapolis and attending
a synagogue in Arnold. My trip east from Texas was to come to my birthplace and perhaps work with Senator Kennedy when he ran for president. That never happened
but the reading of this book and being in the Washington DC area was highly inspirational and a high moment in my life that I will never forget.
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