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Publisher's Summary

A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before, by best-selling author Chris Matthews, an esteemed Kennedy expert and anchor of MSNBC's Hardball.

With his best-selling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look at one of America's most beloved presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American 20th century.

Overlooked by his father and overshadowed by his war hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the navy as a common sailor. It was a life-changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians - both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother's administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.

©2017 Chris Matthews (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Of my time.

I was young and impressionable during the days of Robert Kennedy's run for president, so not all was in my memory. But much of the story of his political career was the beginning of my interest in politics. What Mr. Mathews told that was new to me in many ways explained why I was so drawn to him as a public figure. This telling of Robert Kennedy's life was personal and honest two things lacking in our present culture, and as much as I appreciated the book especially being read by its author, it left me wanting a public servant the likes of this Kennedy flaws, differences and all. Well done Mr. Mathews.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Bobby how we need you

Chris Matthews understanding of Irish -Catholic politicians and their contributions to America is one of his great talents. He shows us Bobby's journey through the political landscape of his lifetime and the trial by fire that shaped him. He reminds us just how much we lost. Bobby knew right from wrong and stood up for everyone 's place at the table. How we need people like him in politics now. Thank you Mr. Matthews for a great book and reminding me of my pride of my
Irish- Catholic roots.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 02-23-18

What Could Have Been.

This is a hagiographic biography. Matthews states of the Kennedy brothers: “All that youth and hope and sense of change; you couldn’t be alive and not feel it”.

The book is well written and researched. It covers some of the family history but primarily focuses is on Robert Kennedy, the third son. Matthews states Bobby chose to join the Navy as an enlisted man. He states that this helped him to easily mix with working people and developed his empathy for the poor, downtrodden and marginalized people. Matthews attempted to be unbiased, but to me his admiration for Bobby came through. Matthews emphasized that Bobby was more interested in Civil Rights than was JFK. I enjoyed reading this book. I picked up a few pearls of information, but most of the material has been covered in other biographies such as “Robert Kennedy and His Time” by Arthur Schlesinger. I think Matthews attempted to portray the person Bobby was rather than him being a famous Kennedy.

The book is just over nine hours. Chris Matthews narrated the book himself.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Matt J

The story was excellent. Most everybody knows the basics, this got to the heart and soul of Bobby Kennedy. With Chris Matthews reading, it was apparent his passion for this subject.

Sometimes it’s a good reminder to look back at the struggles that we have persevered throughout our history.

I “couldn’t put it down” (which meant I sat in my car in the garage longer than made sense). I mean it when I say, “Thank you Bobby, thank you Chris”

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Reflecting a 50 year Perspective!

Chris Matthews has captured the deep longing in
The American Heart for an authentic leader in a
time of great peril to core values of our nation.

In the midst of the daily assault on truth, reason,
higher purpose and public service, Chris Matthews’
crafts a biography that reveals us to ourselves.

The Raging Spirit of Bobby Kennedy reminds us
all, that we can do better and be better stewards
of this hard won, and imperfect union that is
Our Democracy! The need for an inspiring, capable,
though tough, yet genuinely empathetic leader is the
Bobby Kennedy we crave in our time.

An excellent effort by a seasoned veteran of the
cauldron of national politics and the people’s’ business.

We are left with more questions than answers, yet
a clear understanding that we have at our core a
Path to our Higher Angels!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A living reflection

Chris Matthews was born a Republican backed McCarthy but came to tell in love with the politics and personality of Bobby Kennedy. This book is by and for Bobby lovers and is also great history and biography. I loved it because it made me laugh, cry, remember and most of all Think!
"AUDIBLE 20 SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY"

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

This is a great book. Imagine how different the world would be right now if Bobby had lived. You will thoroughly enjoy it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great man!!!!

What an excellent book. I was sooo in love w/John & Jackie Kennedy & how they brought so much love & respect to our country!! I really hardly knew Bobbie was even a person. Oh my goodness what a giant of a human being Robert was!! Thank you sooo very much Chris Mathews for telling us what a tremendous human being he was. I cry it’s sooo terrible — such a terrible tragedy to lose both of these men!!! 😔

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, bad narration

Mathews' stilted, stumbling narration makes one wonder if he wrote this,. Kennedy' story saves book but could have enjoyed more with better narration.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brings back memories

Chris Matthews is obviously passionate about his subject and I am too. I became involved with politics after meeting "Bob" once in Brighton Beach NY and am sad that the world was forever changed by his loss.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful