Books: ROBERT KENNEDY HIS LIFEWhy I am recommending this book:
Last week marked the anniversary of the death of one of America's greatest leaders; a leader shot down in his prime, leaving a nation empty and wondering what might have been. Thomas' book takes a fresh look at RFK the man "on the verge of achieving greatness"; the man who we remember -- greatly.
RFK was born after the chosen siblings had been established in the Kennedy clan. He originally had low standing in the family hierarchy. Thomas describes how the "runt" of the family, the one not born and raised for power and whose only ambition was to please the father who ignored him, turned into the essential son, the defender of the family and mediator between Joe Sr. and JFK. He fleshes out Bobby's role in JFK's campaigns, his testy relations with Martin Luther King, his middle-ground stance on integration, his performance during the Cuban missile crisis, and his genuine concern for the poor. He reveals the truth behind such events as the vice-presidential appointment of Lyndon Johnson as well as the famous calls from the Kennedy brothers, which got Martin Luther King out of jail. He also tries to untangle the webs obscuring the Kennedys' involvement in Castro assassination plots, their relations with Marilyn Monroe, and RFK's guilt over his brother's death. And finally, he, too, speculates on what kind of president one of history's great what-ifs might have made. The picture he paints--of a sensitive, courageous, and determined man on the verge of achieving greatness--is more complex and human than any we've had before, and reminds us again of the tragedy of RFK's death.