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Download Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, by Larry Tye Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Larry Tye Narrator: Marc Cashma Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Satchel comes an in-depth, vibrant, and measured biography about the most complex and controversial member of the Kennedy family.

History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.

To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on rare access granted to him by the Kennedy family, including unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hours of interviews with RFK intimates, including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory opinions means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved but just as often misunderstood.

Bobby Kennedy’s transformation from cold warrior to fiery liberal is a profoundly moving personal story that also offers a lens onto two of the most chaotic and confounding decades of twentieth-century American history. The first half of RFK’s career underlines what the country was like in the era of Eisenhower, while his last years as a champion of the underclass reflect the seismic shifts wrought by the 1960s. Nurtured on the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father, Bobby Kennedy began his public life as counsel to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended it with a noble campaign to unite working-class whites and poor blacks in an electoral coalition that seemed poised to redraw the face of presidential politics. Along the way, he turned up at the center of every event that mattered, from the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis to race riots and Vietnam.

Bare-knuckle operative, cynical White House insider, romantic visionary—Bobby Kennedy was all of these things at one time or another, and each of these aspects of his personality emerges in the pages of this powerful and perceptive new biography.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With skill and verve, Larry Tye has written a fascinating account of a transformative figure.”

    Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner

  • “Larry Tye has done his homework. He has read the books and articles, interviewed hundreds of family members, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, and made use of newly released materials in the Kennedy Library and elsewhere to produce a nuanced, balanced, affectionate, and mostly favorable portrait…[Tye] presents us…with a kind of bildungsroman of a young, privileged man who is forced to learn on the job and makes mistakes…We are in Larry Tye’s debt for bringing back to life the young presidential candidate who…for a brief moment, almost half a century ago, instilled hope for the future in angry, fearful Americans.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “It is difficult to envision anyone getting Robert F. Kennedy more right than biographer Tye does in this superb book. Tye beautifully captures Kennedy’s contradictions, his emergence from under the hard-to-like father to whom he remained forever loyal, and his growth into a public figure killed by an assassin’s bullet…Tye equitably concedes that Kennedy’s detractors have much reason to be tough on the man, and his clear depiction of Kennedy’s many blemishes is just one of the book’s many fine qualities. Another is its wonderful readability. In the end, Tye’s subject stands forth as an admirable man.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times Bestseller
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