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Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary Hardcover – February 27, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (February 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253350891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253350893
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is a valuable contribution to RFK scholarship and sheds new light on the inner workings of one of Kennedy's most important political endeavors." --Presidential Studies Quarterly

"Meticulous research presented as straightforward scholarship takes a reader through a roller coaster time in the U.S. generally and Indiana specifically....The book touches on the full scope of the campaign, including the other contenders: Indiana Gov. Roger D. Branigan, Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey. Well worth reading." Rita Kohn, Nuvo

"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in presidential politics." —Indiana Magazine of History



"Boomhower offers a compelling look at a brief few weeks in 1968 when Hoosiers found themselves at the center of a dynamic struggle over a Presidential nomination and the future direction of our nation. Along the way, he gives readers insight into the tensions, tragedy and emotions of a singular moment—Senator Robert Kennedy's remarks in Indianapolis just hours after Dr. Martin Luther King had been shot—and provides a deeper understanding of one of the more significant events in our nation's long, contentious civil rights journey." —Evan Bayh, former U.S. Senator



"Well-written and handsomely packaged in the style of Kennedy's campaign flyers, Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary will likely stand as the definitive historical account of that contest.... this book is a solid scholarly contribution to the continued debate over the significance of Kennedy's presidential candidacy..." —Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Winter 2008



"You do not have to be from Indiana to read this book. Insights on politics and electioneering in the United States abound." —William Doherty, H-Net Reviews



"Boomhower's account of the 1968 Indiana primary is a highly readable monograph that contextualizes the campaign quite well.... The book is a valuable contribution to RFK scholarship and sheds new light on the inner workings of one of Kennedy's most important political endeavors." —Presidential Studies Quarterly



"A first-rate book: well-researched, balanced, weaving a compelling narrative of an inspiring American and an idealistic time." —Lee H. Hamilton, former U.S. Representative and author of How Congress Works and Why You Should Care



"Boomhower's book provides a good account of the Indiana primary, an account that is at its best as history. It makes very good use of archival materials, blending primary and secondary sources into a compelling narrative. The narrative itself is rich with detail and deepens our understanding of several key aspects of the campaign." —Rhetoric and Public Affairs

From the Publisher

"Boomhower offers a compelling look at a brief few weeks in 1968 when Hoosiers found themselves at the center of a dynamic struggle over a Presidential nomination and the future direction of our nation. Along the way, he gives readers insight into the tensions, tragedy and emotions of a singular moment--Senator Robert Kennedy's remarks in Indianapolis just hours after Dr. Martin Luther King had been shot--and provides a deeper understanding of one of the more significant events in our nation's long, contentious civil rights journey." --U.S. Senator Evan Bayh

"A first-rate book: well-researched, balanced, weaving a compelling narrative of an inspiring American and an idealistic time." --Lee H. Hamilton, former U.S. Representative and author of How Congress Works and Why You Should Care


More About the Author

Ray E. Boomhower is senior editor of the Indiana Historical Society's quarterly popular history magazine Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Boomhower has been with the Society since 1987, beginning work for the statewide, nonprofit organization as its public relations coordinator.

A native of Mishawaka, Indiana, Boomhower graduated from Indiana University in 1982 with degrees in journalism and political science. He received his master's degree in U.S. history from Indiana University, Indianapolis, in 1995. Before joining the Society staff, he worked in public relations for the Indiana State Museum and as a reporter for two Indiana daily newspapers, the Rensselaer Republican and the Anderson Herald.

In 1999 Boomhower received the Hoosier Historian award from the Indiana Historical Society. His book on Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Democratic presidential primary won the 2009 Best Books of Indiana competition in the nonfiction category sponsored by the Indiana Center for the Book, and his other works have been finalists in the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association. In 2010 he was named as the winner of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award in the regional category.

Customer Reviews

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This book is a first-rate addition to the few great ones out there.
Steven G. Baumert
Boomhower has written an excellent book, one I would recommend to anyone interested in political history and the intricacies of each state's Primary election.
Scott Blake
On April 4, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. came to Indiana to campaign for the Indiana Democratic presidential primary.
Midwest Book Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JMack VINE VOICE on January 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The 1968 Indiana Primary thrust Robert F. Kennedy into the national spotlight for the presidency. While it remains open to debate whether he would have won, the primary allowed Robert to leave his brother's shadow in the national conscience and make a mark for himself. This book chronicles that journey.

The book begins with the beautiful landmark for peace in Indianapolis which many people do not know exists. Questions about the Vietnam war and the dissent in the Democratic party seem to suggest the incumbent may not be welcome to return. Eugene McCarthy initially kindles the flame, but Kennedy stirs a fire. By the time the Indiana primary arrives, Lyndon Johnson announces he will not seek another term. Poverty, war, and race are the spotlight issues of the campaign. But the book is centered on what may be Robert Kennedy's finest moment. Speaking in an African-American neighborhood in the hours after Martin Luther King's assassination, Kennedy made his legacy of peace evident.

Being before my time, it was interesting to see some of the landmarks of my home state appear throughout the story. It adds to the book that members of my family also remember the events and speeches of this primary. For those interested in Robert F. Kennedy, this book focuses on a small but important aspect of his life. On the other hand, it says a great deal more about him than many 400 page books.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark C. Helmke on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Washington Post on March 25, 2008 reported that the Indiana May primary between Obama and Clinton may make the difference for the Democratic nomination. Forty years ago this was also the case. Every political reporter, blogger and junkie needs to read this book. Indiana politics are quirky, but there are similarities between 1968 and 2008, especially over the race issue. Obama is Bobby Kennedy. Hillary is trying to figure out if she is Gene McCarty or the machine candidate represented by Gov. Roger Branigin.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Like many Americans, I have always been fascinated with the Kennedy clan. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of well-written books on the subject. From William Manchester’s controversial “Death of the President” (1967) and Arthur Schlesinger’s best selling “RFK and His Times” (1978) to the more recent, David Nasaw’s “The Patriarch” (2012), and J. Randy Taraborrelli’s “After Camelot” (2012), writers have all but exhausted the Kennedys.

Not entirely, as Ray E. Boomhower demonstrates in “RFK and the 1968 Indiana Primary.”

Hoping to seize the presidential torch from his late brother, in the early months of 1968, Bobby Kennedy had to decide whether he should run for the nation’s highest office. There were many variables involved, most notably the stalled campaign of the sitting president, LBJ, and the rise of the anti-war candidate, Senator Eugene McCarthy.

Indiana, Boomhower explains, was not be easy for RFK to win, given the state’s conservative bent if he captured it, however, his campaign for the party’s nomination would be hard to beat. His journey included plenty of twists and turns (the death of MLK and RFK’s memorable speech), which the author seamlessly integrates into the narrative.

“RFK and the 1968 Indiana Primary” is a well-written study about a previously neglected subject. For those who are interested in learning something new about the Kennedys, I recommend it.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book from the author.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
On April 4, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. came to Indiana to campaign for the Indiana Democratic presidential primary. En route, Kennedy learned that civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot and had died. Despite the Indianapolis police department's warning that they could not guarantee his safety, Kennedy chose to address an outdoor rally amid the city's African American community. Kennedy delivered one of history's great speeches, breaking the news of King's death and stressing the need for compassion amid violence. Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Indiana Primary commemorates the fortieth anniversary of Kennedy's passionate speech, and examines the characters and events of the 1968 primary, in which Kennedy rose from underdog to victor. A fascinating close study of a great leader's power to console and inspire.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a voracious reader of insightful books involving, or in part containing, Robert Kennedy's '68 run for the Democratic nomination. This book is a first-rate addition to the few great ones out there. Previously unknown stories of this Hoosier primary from first-hand sources, wonderfully well-researched accounts of how decisions were made and the campaign trasnspired, all brought together in a smooth style that doesn't get in the way of the story.

You'll find stories and accounts about this particular primary that are not found elsewhere. The book deservers its place among the other great books that cover the '68 campaign of Bobby Kennedy.
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