The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America

The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America

by Thurston Clarke
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The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Dr_RRF More than 1 year ago
In June of 2008, on the anniversary of the assasination of Robert Kennedy, a number of news magaizines posed the question if the politics of RFK are still relevant today. Based upon Thurston Clarke's "The Last Campaign," I would have to say "yes." Clarke poses the basic question as to why RFK had the effect that he did on so many people and why he was so compelling. Kennedy cared deeply for the disadvantaged and while he himself had a very privileged upbringing, he nonetheless related to them in a very personal way. Bobby Keenedy was a very complex man within whom contradictory forces and behaviors seemed to seeth. Clarke presents a picture of RFK with warts and all although I highly recommend reading one of the biograhphies of RFK to get a more complete picture. Kennedy could be rude, crass and thoughtless and made many enemies. By the time he entered the 1968 primaries, he had undoubtly mellowed and a more caring side of him showed through. His politics, a mixture of patriotism, progressiveness and basic values, indeed resonated with so many in 1968. It is easy to mythologize the RFK legacy (as with his brother John) and speculate about how things might have been different if he had lived and been elected president. However, this ducks the hard questions such as if Kennedy would have been able to build the political support and coalitions necessary to accomplish his goals. All in all, RFK was long on hopes, intentions and ideals but rather short on details and action plans in his campaigning. Clarke does a good job of succinctly summarizing Kennedy's political legacy without turning it into a barbed commentary on contemporary politics. The broader issues of Kennedy's politics are beyond the scope of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a slow reader and not a very active reader, but I hold an interest in Bobby Kennedy. I've only owned this book for less than 1 week and am nearly finished already. It is an inspiring read that I believe every American politician ought to be required to read. It provides insight into the life and tragic death of Bobby Kennedy and his goals to make the world a better, safer place. Interesting read that I would recommend to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend shared this with me. It is an awesome book and a hopeful book. I have always enjoyed learning about and teaching about Bobby Kennedy in my US History classes. To me, his life was really about overcoming struggle and coming to full compassion. As we debate leaders today, Clarke's book could add a lot to that discussion. The tragedy of the book is that it is written so well, it leaves you tremendously saddened over 'What Could Have Been' and yet, hopeful for the future. I highly recommend it.
kennedygirl More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much, i could not put it down! It tells the story of Bobby's passionate campaign with such love and adoration it's a must read for any Kennedy fan. The way Bobby should be remembered as our fearless champion, is all here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. RFK was the last politican who was able to bring americans together under one banner. He left us with the blue prints to carry on the dream of a healed america.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many books on the Kennedys but this one really showed how much we lost as a country. I grew up with the Kennedys and I learned so much more about the man. A great book. I could not put it down.
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senated More than 1 year ago
I remember the RFK campaign caused a great deal of enthusiasm among those who felt betrayed by mainstream politicians, particularly President Johnson and Hubert Humphrey, but as far as inspiring America, I don't think so. It wasn't even a given he would be the Democratic nominee much less a shoe in for the presidency. The chaos of 68 meant the only constant in politics was unprdeictability. Kennedy may have been more electable 10 years later but unfortunatly we will never know.
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Thurston Clarke writes a compelling narrative about Robert Kennedy's last campaign. Clarke's central argument is that unlike other politicians of his day, as well as today, Kennedy ran for moral reasons. Clarke details some of these moral reasons including Vietnam, racial unrest, and poverty. The interaction Kennedy had with a young boy in South Dakota, Christopher Pretty Boy demonstrates clearly his dedication to improving life for those most dis-advantaged.
In the end, Clarke's monograh about Robert Kennedy is truely a magificient book, one that everyone should read!
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mryoda More than 1 year ago
I reviewed this book in September for B $ N. I reread it again over the holidays. Such a good book. Yes, there is a bit of a tinge towards the 2008 election, but there are some interesting parallels as well.
This is a very fast paced book and kudos to Clarke who wrote it so well.
There is no doubt in my mind that RFK was and still is a transformative figure.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This wonderfully written book could not be more relevant or more exciting and uplifting. Robert Kennedy's campaign was an heroic example of the exhilaration and risks of speaking truth to power. Regardless of your political persuasion, you will be totally engaged by this masterful recounting of Robert Kennedy's meteoric and daunting final campaign. This book is the one to share with your children.