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Bobby Kennedy Audiobook

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Satchel comes an in-depth, vibrant, and measured biography of the most complex and controversial member of the Kennedy family.

History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy's enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.

To capture the full arc of his subject's life, Tye drew on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and 58 boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past 40 years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates - including Bobby's widow, Ethel; his sister, Jean; and his aide, John Siegenthaler - many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye's determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory opinions means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved - but just as often misunderstood.

Bobby Kennedy's transformation from cold warrior to fiery liberal is a profoundly moving personal story that also offers a lens onto two of the most chaotic and confounding decades of 20th-century American history. The first half of RFK's career underlines what the country was like in the era of Eisenhower while his last years as a champion of the underclass reflect the seismic shifts wrought by the 1960s. Nurtured on the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father, Bobby Kennedy began his public life as counsel to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended it with a noble campaign to unite working-class whites with poor blacks and Latinos in an electoral coalition that seemed poised to redraw the face of presidential politics. Along the way he turned up at the center of every event that mattered, from the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis to race riots and Vietnam.

Bare-knuckle operative, cynical White House insider, romantic visionary - Bobby Kennedy was all of these things at one time or another, and each of these aspects of his personality emerges in this powerful and perceptive new biography.

©2016 Larry Tye (P)2016 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"This is not just another Bobby Kennedy book. It is the definitive biography of one of America's most compelling political figures. Larry Tye has given us the complete Bobby, from the Bad (Early) Kennedy, from Joe McCarthy's committee counsel to 'ruthless' political manager to gentle, softhearted presidential candidate. Tye's book rests on prodigious and original research including rare, on-the-record interviews with Bobby's widow, Ethel, who confesses that seeing Bobby for the first time was like meeting George Clooney." (Roger Mudd, winner of the Peabody Award and former coanchor of NBC Nightly News)

"Robert Kennedy led one of the great unfinished lives in American history. With skill and verve, Larry Tye has written a fascinating account of a transformative figure who continues to summon us to heed our better angels even all these years distant." (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)

"Drawing on the personal papers and insights of the Kennedy family, this biography will appeal not only to those wanting a portrait of a dynamic idealist, but also to those seeking to understand the emotions of the times in which he lived." (Henry A. Kissinger)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (95 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rosemary Greenwich, CT, United States 07-20-16
    Rosemary Greenwich, CT, United States 07-20-16 Member Since 2016

    I love the last 150 years of history. Bully Pulpit and the Wilson biography absolute best!

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    "For 11 brief shining hours Larry Tye brings RFK back to life with all warts and promise"

    This should be the hands-down definitive biography of Robert Kennedy. There are no glib smooth-overs of the RFK's early and ugly zeal and flaws. This is the story of a man who through terrible despair, grief and unusual determination becomes 100 times the man he started out being. The political reality of his time is rendered perfectly. The book resounds because it is a true rendering of human frailty, suffering and overcoming. Life's first card dealt Bobby Kennedy was filled with feisty competitiveness and intolerance. Turned over at the end of his his life, the card showed a depth of character found only in monks and profoundly selfless leaders. To be savored by conservatives and progressives alike. And brought this reader to tears 45 years after spending 19 hours in his funeral line, for what might have been.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 08-11-16
    George 08-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A wonderful book."

    I was initially taken back by a poor review I encountered on audible. The book is well written and the production is top notch. If you are curious about Bobby Kennedy, I'd recommend this book without hesitation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sci Fi reader 09-05-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Exceptional biography and performance!"

    This audible is one of the best I've listed to since The Bully Pulpit. Just an excellent audible experience!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond E. Wynne Jr Pawtucket , Rhode Island USA 09-04-16
    Raymond E. Wynne Jr Pawtucket , Rhode Island USA 09-04-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Good read"

    Nice read on Bob Kennedy
    Lots of information. A little of what might have been but why not
    He truly was a special person

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audrey Little Rock, AR, United States 08-09-16
    Audrey Little Rock, AR, United States 08-09-16 Member Since 2006
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    "Compelling and informative!"

    I was a very young child when Bobby was assassinated, but I remember the coverage very well. Larry Tye does an incredible job of supplying a fascinating backstory and introducing the audience to the RFK with whom most of us were likely not acquainted. A real "page turner" regardless of your political leanings or pro- or con-Kennedy stance.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianne PETERSHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, United States 08-07-16
    Marianne PETERSHAM, MASSACHUSETTS, United States 08-07-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Completely fascinating"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    So pleased to have listened to this book. Lots of new information on an int4resting man and his times.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the wide view of RFK and his peers


    What does Marc Cashman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    an excellent voice


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren J. Kotloff 08-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great biography of a fascinating man"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bobby Kennedy to be better than the print version?

    No


    What did you like best about this story?

    The biography was comprehensive and never sensationalized his life or became overly sentimental or hagiographic.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I did not care for the narrator's voice. Can't put my finger on it, but it was not was a voice I would choose to listen to for hours on end. A little sing-songy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CC 07-14-16
    CC 07-14-16
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    "Slow. Boring."

    I love history and I'm fascinated with the Kennedy family and the 1960's but this book is extremely slow and didn't provide any new information that isn't in 1 or 2 other Kennedy books. Sadly, I couldn't finish it.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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