©2004 National Cable Satellite Corporation
This piece of raw oral history has alot to recommend it. Anthony Lewis asks interesting questions, mainly about race & segregation, & RFK & the chief of Justice's civil rights division, answer. This was meant to be an archived piece of history, for future historians. As such, it is often rough, alittle disorganized & with occasionally spotty sound quality. The most interesting aspect of it is to hear the role pure politics played in decisionmaking back then, rather than abstractions of justice & ethics. We like to think that our heros/leaders, whatever, are driven in their everyday decisionmaking by "what is right." But that is not the case. They may be guided by "what is right" in their longer-term strategic thinking, but political considerations play a big role in each little decision they make. That is how RFK presents himself too, unvarnished.
Now I enjoyed this since I love BTS information. This is a 3-part raw recording of an interview with RFK. It gives one a very personal view into the workings of the JFK administration at critical points, specifically on civil rights.
I don't recommend this to casual listeners because it is sloppy, at times difficult to understand, takes meaningless asides (like lunch arriving, getting a drink, and messing with the recorder.) Also there are references to less important people that might confuse listeners.
At times we get off-the-record comments that are insightful and sometimes surprising. Like RFK pining that a dictatorship would have been more effective at changing the racial problems in America. (Some things in the Democrat party never change.) Then letting us know he sees the pitfalls in that solution.
I was left wondering why CSPAN decided to redact somethings while leaving in long pieces of dishes clacking and RFK asking for a drink, ect.
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