Item description for Robert Kennedy : His Life by Evan Thomas...
Overview A wide-ranging, well-researched biography of Robert Kennedy delves deeply into the life of this shy, crusading, and sometimes ruthless politician, uncovering his use of "back channels" in politics, his involvement with Marilyn Monroe, and the campaign that ended with his assassination. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
Publishers Description He was "Good Bobby," who, as his brother Ted eulogized him, "saw wrong and tried to right it . . . saw suffering and tried to heal it." And "Bad Bobby," the ruthless and manipulative bully of countless conspiracy theories. Thomas's unvarnished but sympathetic and fair-minded portrayal is packed with new details about Kennedy's early life and his behind-the-scenes machinations, including new revelations about the 1960 and 1968 presidential campaigns, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his long struggles with J. Edgar Hoover and Lyndon Johnson.
Citations And Professional Reviews Robert Kennedy : His Life by Evan Thomas has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 1019
New York Times - 09/08/2002 page 28
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 804
Entertainment Weekly - 09/11/2009 page 67
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Studio: Simon & Schuster
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.23" Width: 6.15" Height: 1.23" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Sep 10, 2002
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0743203291 ISBN13 9780743203296 UPC 076714028005
Availability 0 units.
More About Evan Thomas
Evan Thomas is the author of The "Very Best Men: Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the C.I.A., " a book about the careers of Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes and Desmond FitzGerald; "Robert Kennedy: His Life; The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst and the Rush to Empire, 1989; Sea of Thunder: The Last Great Naval Command, 1941-1945; "and "John Paul Jones. "He is at work on a book about President Dwight Eisenhower.
Evan Thomas currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia. Evan Thomas was born in 1951.
Reviews - What do customers think about Robert Kennedy : His Life?
3/5 Jun 12, 2008
The book is okay. It is that simple. The prose are incoherent and it is very hard to tell who or what the subject of the sentence is. He tries to be far too clever with his sentence structure which results in being forced to read a sentence several times, sometimes understanding what he's talking about the fifth time, sometimes still confused but forced to move on The most prominent of my complaints is that he is so repetitious. He will use the same adjectives to describe the same person over and over in almost identical sentences which begs the question: How long would this book be if he didn't repeat himself? My final complaint is that he will write ad nauseam about the most mundane events and details and will examine the motives and come to a verdict while repeating the evidence almost verbatim to what he just wrote the paragraph before. I haven't read another book on Bobby so I cannot compare it to other Bobby-books. However, since I was born in the eighties and did not live during all of this, it is new information and basically the only fact I can't give this a lower grade is because the information itself propels the book into mediocrity.
I Despair Jun 11, 2008
I was so looking forward to listening to this book and so frustrated with the outcome.
That part that I did listen to was written well but read poorly. Attempting to mimick the voice of Kennedy (and others) grows so old so quickly one would have thought it would have captured the eye of an editor sooner rather than later. But never? Alas, apparently that was not in anyone's job description.
If you must do anything buy the printed version.
a politician to be passionate about Jan 20, 2007
Although I was only 7 years old when he died I have talked to many people about the passion they felt for Bobby. Boy, could we use someone like that now. Although the book does not shy away from his sometime machiavellian tactics, it shows a person who was so affected by tragedy that he really cared. I see film clips of when he visited Buffalo, and the entire Niagara Square was packed with tens of thousands of people. I cannot think of anyone, short of the Bills after a super bowl win, that would garner that much enthusiasm. Evan Thomas captures that and draws the reader in. I actually felt empty when finishing the book and sad that I could think of no one today that could fill that void. Thomas also through thorough research seems to dispel the popular myth of Bobby as a womanizer. He was actually a devoted family man haunted by his brothers death but loyal to wife and children. Not so with Jack. When Bobby was in Indianapolis about to speak before a black audience it was announced that Martin Luther King had just been killed. He discarded his planned speech and relayed his own feelings of how he felt when his brother Jack was killed. It was totally ad-libbed and from the heart. Indianapolis was one of the few major cities not to erupt in violence. I wonder how different this country might be had he the opportunity to serve us.
Good Bobby Primer, but Nothing New Nov 16, 2006
Evan offers much insight into an unfinished life. He meets the mark of a good biographer; as a history this is a well-balanced read. But he fails to give us what we crave: perpective into how the world might have been different had Bobby survived.
Bobby once famously said: "Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies". Mr. Thomas has done a commendable job of tracking that change, speaking to the better known facets of Bobby's personal as well as political evolution. Evan's book captures the antecedents: his awkwardness as a young Kennedy; the shadow, and then death of, his brother Jack; the opportunities to question the rigidity of his Catholic faith; his decision to align himself with McCarthy (Joe not Gene). These alternately help set the foundation for the evolution of Bobby from FDR politician to modern-day progressive. These help explain what caused a 1950's era government attorney concerned about Comintern penetration of the State Department to become a proponent of the United Farmworkers in its most radical years. Or those changes that caused the one-time skeptic of Martin Luther King to become one of his most ardent political champions.
Evans provides the rationale for the enmity shared by various mobsters, LBJ, and even Roy Cohn. His rationale is this: Bobby cared. Evans touches us when he describes Bobby as a man who strived to live lives as others did. The description of Bobby's pain witnessing the utter poverty of rural blacks in the 1960's Mississippi delta is palpable and authentic. But Bobby was also a shrewd strategist, adapting to a time when the solid south was no longer the dependable, conservative counterweight of the Democratic Party fulcrum, and the campus was no longer the only forum in America for frank discussion of problems in America. Bobby was not an opportunist, but he was a political realist, and in the days leading up to the '68 convention Bobby reflected not simply the changes occurring within the antiwar movement or the modern-day Democratic Party, but also those changes occurring all across America at that time.
Would Bobby have turned around a country that was heading down a path of "secret plans" to end the Vietnam War, Watergate, "Trickle Down" economics and South American puppeteering? Evan Thomas to his credit wrote a book about an unfinished life, and a good one at that. But for those interested in what might have been, we'll have to continue to wonder.
Muddled and unfocused Sep 11, 2006
The life and times of Robert Kennedy beg for a coherent and in depth book .... unfortunately this is not it. Living in the shadow of his presidential brother, the shadow of his oldest brother killed in WWII and the all encompassing shadow of his father, RFK was able to chisel out an identity of his own in US history before his tragic death. Hoping to gain some understanding/insight of/into this man's character and evolution from a sullen child to presidential candidate and everything in between, and a chonology of such things as his involvement in the US civil rights movement, McCarthyism, Cuba (Bay of Pigs and The Missle Crisis) and his relationship in the White House with his brother JFK... I was greatly disappointed. A glaring hole in this book is any serious treatment of RFK and Vietnam. What the book does contain are snippets, quotes and anecdotes, some mildly interesting, (i.e. RFK's role in the release of Martin Luther King from prison), without any cohesiveness and very little context. And although many of the conclusions reached in this volume are valid they are simply not borne out here. The book's attempt to cover significant parallel events is at best confusing and there is also an alarming amount of armchair psychology. I hate to be so hard nosed but the subject deserves much better than this book.