I have read previous books on Robert Kennedy and found them all interesting but I feel this one is the definitive biography of the man. Author Larry Tye gives a well-balanced portrayal of the man showing both his so-called ruthless side with other politicians and his compassionate side with children and the poor. I suppose to have lived through the tumultuous 1960s and well remember many of the times and trials this decade put American through would make this book somewhat more memorable. Bobby Kennedy was a strong supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin during the witch hunt for Communists during the early 1950s. The drive of father Joseph Kennedy to get his oldest surviving son Jack elected president is covered. The bitter feud between Attorney General RFK and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson suddenly left the Attorney General insignificant in Johnson's eyes. Bobby's friend Richard Goodwin has said that if LBJ had to choose between RFK and Ho Chi Minh to succeed him as president he'd choose Ho without hesitation. Another arch
foe was Clyde Tolson, friend of J. Edgar Hoover, who had stated, "I hope someone shoots and kills that son of a bitch."
RFK had many enemies but he had his compassionate side as well and author Tye provides us this side, also.. Following the assassination of JFK his brother went into a deep depression which eventually subsided with RFK's run for Senator of New York and later for President of the United States. His travels took him to the deep south and Indian reservations where poverty reigned. Kennedy's sincere compassion deeply affected him to wanting to do something for these people.
Robert Kennedy's words from the 1960s ring equally true today when he stated that what we need today is not division, hatred, violence, or lawlessness but love, wisdom, and compassion for one another. It appears we haven't learned very much if anything. Unfortunately his life was taken by an assassin just like his brother's.
I learned a lot from this book and I'm sure I'd learn more if I read it again. Well done oh good and faithful servant.