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RFK: A Memoir (Nation Books) Paperback – August 27, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Nation Books
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; Subsequent edition (August 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255314
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Deeply moving . . . the best book on Robert Kennedy to date."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Michael Tierney on January 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the portrait of Bobby Kennedy that captures why his last campaign changed some of our lives.
I was only ten when RFK was assassinated and I went through high school during one of the most cynical periods of our political history: record distrust in government due to the death throes of the Viet Nam war and the disintegration of any respect for the presidency with Watergate (sound familiar????).
A high school English teacher lent me this book when I was a senior in high school and it gave me new hope for our political process. Seeing Bobby Kennedy's capacity for change after JFK's death made me believe that it was possible to have a leader that listened, that grew from his own sorrows.
The description of RFK informing a crowd at a housing project in Indianapolis of Dr. Martin Luther King's death stays with me after all these years (and Newfield's description rang in my ears as I visited the spot and the memorial to both men that has been built from melted down guns turned in by gang members on that spot).
And David Frost's interivew with RFK in which he chillingly asked him what he would like his epitaph to be about a month before his death has stayed with me (and been up near my desk and computers for the last 30 + years): "I think back to what Camus wrote that perhaps this world is a world in which children suffer but you can lessen the number of suffering children and if you do not do this who will do this. I would like to think that I did something to lessen that suffering..."
If you are going to buy anything to explore why RFK mattered, buy this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book not only paints a beautiful and compelling portrait of Bobby Kennedy, it presents a very real and tangible snapshot of our country and the process of the political machine in the late 60s. Jack Newfield is (or sadly, was) a great writer who can keep the reader transfixed, most probably because this is his story as well. What Jack Newfield reveals to us about Bobby Kennedy is what he reveals to us about himself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ethel A. on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I wanted to read this book because of something George Stephanopoulos said in his book All Too Human. Jack Newfield certainly didn't disappoint. Despite the years that have passed since RFK was killed, the themes of human frailty, disillusionment and redemption still resonate.

It seemed too, a much more real look into RFK than many other biographies and memoirs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
The myth of RFK as the liberal icon is shattered by Newfield's memoir. Robert Kennedy detested the liberal establishment represented by the NY Times and that establishment distrusted and shunned him. Unlike his more polished brothers Robert never could play the political game and make nice with people he disliked. Kennedy was a lightning rod for controversy. He refused to accept the status quo and challenged people to look at themselves before criticizing others. Reading this memoir over 40 years after it was written one can't help but think what RFK would call today's political landscape: immoral. The same RFK who would answer a smug medical student who asked who would pay for medical care for the poor with a curt, "you," also openly opposed student deferments to the draft when speaking on college campuses. He called it immoral that the smart and wealthy could avoid military service in a time of war. He recognized that solving poverty in an urban environment wasn't something the government could do alone. He enlisted Republican businessmen to help him in his Bedford Stuyvessant project. Robert Kennedy may have been the most complex politician of our time. It's too bad there aren't a few like him today.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Martin on October 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
I grew up with mixed feeling about RFK. Being raised by Goldwater Republicans, the Kennedy mythos held little sway. But I was 6 years old when RFK was assasinated and I saw him dying lying spread eagle on the floor, his head haloed in a corona of blood, his face impassive.

I still have no sympathy for the Kennedy mythos and I have no sympathy for messianic politics (looking for the leader, whether left or right), but I've been drawn to RFK. He alone was really devout. He alone really saw the moral dimension during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He alone accept his share of responsibility for Vietnam.

This book was written soon after RFK's death and it's a wonderful memior. Newfield is not a "kennedy groupie" altho' he is so, so close to his subject you forgive him for his hero worship. It is not to be treated as an objective historical document, Newfield is blind to the achievements of the Great Society and vicious towards LBJ, but given the context in which he wrote that's hardly surprising.

For a more critical, yet remarkably complementary (when it comes to RFK) account, I would recommend Garry Wills THE KENNEDY IMPRISIONMENT.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. Denise Roe on March 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bobby gets over shadowed much of the time by JFK. Even though I remember his death and funeral, I realize I didn't know much about the one Kennedy I have always said was my favorite. Bobby was the most "Irish" of the family and being Irish also I felt a draw to him. This book is very insightful and gives a much more compete picture of him, unlike what is usually reported about him. There is a deep reflective side to him which is not widely known.
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