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Download Robert Kennedy: His Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Robert Kennedy: His Life Audiobook, by Evan Thomas Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 54.19 out of 5 4.19 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Evan Thomas Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538463628
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Traditionally, Robert F. Kennedy has been viewed as either the “Good Bobby,” who saw wrong and tried to right it, or the “Bad Bobby” of countless conspiracy theories, the ruthless and manipulative bully who plotted with the Mafia to kill Castro and lusted after Marilyn Monroe. Evan Thomas’ achievement is to realize RFK as a human being, to bring to life an extraordinarily complex man who was at once kind and cruel, devious and honest, fearful and brave.

The portrait that emerges is unvarnished but sympathetic, packed with new details about Kennedys early life and his behind-the-scenes machinations: his involvement in a cheating incident in prep school, his first attempt at romance, and his many back-channel political operations—with new revelations about the 1960 and 1968 presidential campaigns, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his long struggles with J. Edgar Hoover and Lyndon Johnson, both of whom were subtly and not-so-subtly trying to blackmail the Kennedys. In a clear and fast-paced narrative, Thomas cuts through the mythology to reveal a character who, though he died young just as he was reaching for ultimate power, remains one of the century’s most fascinating men.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This judicious and thorough book is likely to be the most comprehensive and balanced study of the life and career of Robert F. Kennedy for a long time to come.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “An assured, gripping new biography…Thomas’ book is exemplary.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Thomas’ book sheds new light on a man—and an era and a family—about whom Americans will probably never know the whole truth.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Ray Porter’s authoritative voice is well suited to Thomas’ meticulously researched biography…In sync with Thomas’ text, Porter’s narration is simultaneously matter-of-fact and reverent. For Kennedy fans and political history buffs, this biography delivers.”

    AudioFile

  • “Gracefully written, thoroughly researched, and accessible…Vividly reveals a very human Kennedy…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Friends and foes have spun enough myths about RFK to bewilder the casual reader; Thomas sets out to examine the evidence…A solid, judicious life of a politician whose tragic death inspired a generation of what-if history.”

    Booklist

  • “Thomas’ large, comprehensive biography of this complicated man is refreshingly unbiased. RFK is presented as a person, not an icon…Ray Porter reads with the precision that comes from his training at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival…Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred audio review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 2/20/2014

    " Thoughtful. Thorough. Balanced. Fascinating! If you are planning to read a biography of RFK, I recommend this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole Judd | 2/14/2014

    " How great a politician I would be if only afforded the silver Kennedy Spoon! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 2/12/2014

    " Extremely well written book about the life of RFK, a politician who had a great effect upon my political leanings, as I was 13 years old and was so energized and excited about his campaign when he was shot. This author really helped me understand his upbringing, motivations and the incredible pain he experineced when his brother was assasinated. He went through a tremendous spiritual awakening before running for President himself. This is an excellent book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon | 2/7/2014

    " For the most part I really enjoyed this book on Robert Kennedy. I'm fascinated by the Kennedy years and this was the first book I have read that focused on RFK, a man who I think might be even more interesting of a person than his more famous older brother Jack. The only thing that was a bit strange about this book was that there was so little about the JFK assassination but that's likely because so much has already been written about the book and because the focus was RFK, not JFK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Conrad | 1/28/2014

    " This book fascinated Conrad. Bobby was a complex soul. Read this, why don't you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Beebe | 1/23/2014

    " An extremely thought-provoking biography on a very complex man who didn't appear to come into true form until his later years before his death. It doesn't paint the man as a hero or set out to demonize or cast conspiracies about his family or death. The Bobby Kennedy we find early on is not the same Bobby that set his sight on the Whitehouse shortly before he was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel. But it is still plain to see that he was America's great missed opportunity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark Vogt | 1/23/2014

    " A great read with much new detail and insight about RFK, some of it not consistent with the Kennedy myth. After you have read it, you feel like you have spent time with Bobby, warts and all "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dev | 1/12/2014

    " Not hagiography nor hit piece: Thomas kept me reading and that's the best thing you can say about any biography "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirk Bower | 1/5/2014

    " One of the best bios on RFK I've read. Very lengthy, but very well documented. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K1 | 1/2/2014

    " Quite fascinating. A bit too detailed in parts, and not as readable as other histories, but very interesting! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 1/1/2014

    " The Kennedy Brothers are kind of amazing. If you think Jack was a great president, you have no idea. Bobby was the brains behind JFK's campaign, the beginning of the civil rights movement and the Cuban missile crisis "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 10/20/2013

    " Heavily borrows from biographies already written, and doesn't go into any insight for the assassination. Doesn't describe his really famous speeches. But really does cover the evolution of a man. Very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bayoumacs | 10/19/2013

    " Evan Thomas hits the mark with this wonderfully written biography. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stuart | 9/13/2013

    " An excellent book about a flawed character. RFK is one of the crucial figures in understanding the 1960's. I can't count him among my heroes due in part to his way of berating others, but somehow still admire him for trying to do what is right and fighting for the less fortunate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 9/6/2013

    " I enjoyed seeing his progression into a selfless person who fought to make this country better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 8/7/2013

    " The author was able to bring out the complexity of RFK character and his personal trials and his compassion for the the disenfranchised of this nation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 8/7/2013

    " This is a fantastic biography. It draws you in to the struggle and glory that was Robert Kennedy. Oh yeah, and you learn that his sister had a partial lobotamy because her father thought that she was becoming to wild. Definitely worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean | 8/1/2013

    " Enjoyed it more than Arthur Schlesinger's book. Much more even, fair and balanced. Good insight on the plot to kill Castro, the battles with the mob and details of RFK's role on the JFK campaign. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 5/31/2013

    " I dont know how I feel about this book. I enjoyed it, and I found that I had a lot in common with RFK, but I am hessitant to give it 5 stars. I feel as if something is missing, but I dont know what it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew Bartlett | 10/2/2012

    " A great read. It fleshes out RFK that is easy to follow and not be lost. It clears away legend and presents the man. RFK is a giant of American history and should always be remembered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brendan Steinhauser | 10/1/2012

    " This was a very interesting look at Kennedy's life. I learned quite a bit about him and his family. I can't say I like the Kennedy's any less than I already did. This book is very much worth a read, especially for the history of the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Becker | 8/2/2012

    " A stunningly detailed work, Evan Thomas explains why the Kennedys were great, and yet, how they were unable to live up to the myth that surrounded them. A tragic, hopeful book; a must-read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Schaffer | 7/12/2011

    " I generally like Evan Thomas's writing but in this one it seems like he takes previous (Schlesinger) work on RFK and makes some slight variations on it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe Viola | 3/4/2011

    " Love Bobby. Love him. An interesting take on the most "normal" son in a tortured family. If you align yourself even remotely with Kennedy politics give this a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin | 1/29/2011

    " Inspirational read of tortured and enigmatic political icon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheri | 12/5/2010

    " Too bad he never made it to the Oval Office...he was the compassionate Kennedy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dev | 10/26/2010

    " Not hagiography nor hit piece: Thomas kept me reading and that's the best thing you can say about any biography "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 8/15/2010

    " The author was able to bring out the complexity of RFK character and his personal trials and his compassion for the the disenfranchised of this nation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louie | 4/7/2010

    " a fantastic look at his life.. beautiful and goes into great detail when looking at both sides of his life. His change to liberal crusader for the poor in the public eye is a fantastic thing to read about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 1/20/2010

    " I recommend this book, as well as, Robert Kennedy In His Own Words, to anyone who is serious about understanding this enduring political figure "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dolly | 9/15/2009

    " Filled in some gaps in my historical understanding of times I lived through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 5/25/2009

    " One of the best bios ever. I highly suggest this book. He was probably the smartest and most thoughtful of all the Kennedy's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 5/18/2009

    " A great read with much new detail and insight about RFK, some of it not consistent with the Kennedy myth. After you have read it, you feel like you have spent time with Bobby, warts and all "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 2/19/2009

    " Thoughtful. Thorough. Balanced. Fascinating! If you are planning to read a biography of RFK, I recommend this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 1/28/2009

    " A very interesting look into the life of not just RFK, but the whole Kennedy clan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 1/16/2009

    " I enjoyed seeing his progression into a selfless person who fought to make this country better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 1/12/2009

    " Best book on RFK I've ever read. "

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About the Author
Author Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas is the author of several bestselling works of history and biography, including The War Lovers and Sea of Thunder. He was a writer and editor at Time and Newsweek for more than 30 years, and he is frequently a commentator on television and radio. He teaches at Princeton University and lives in Washington, DC. 

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.