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85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy…

85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy

by Jules Witcover

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Written the year after RFK's murder, this is a reserved, considered, but still sometimes raw account of Kennedy's short run for the presidency. The author accompanied Kennedy's campaign in the days when the press could get much closer to the candidate than it can now, and the book benefits a great deal from that close access. Those like me who are too young to have formed an impression of Robert Kennedy during his life can get a real sense of the man here.

The first three-quarters of the book is a day-by-day detailed look at the campaign from the days before its start, when Kennedy hesitated (too long, it seems now) to enter the race for fear of having his candidacy mistaken as a personal vendetta against President Johnson. It's the final quarter, dealing with the assassination and its immediate aftermath, that will be most gripping to most readers. Because the Kennedys loomed larger than life in so many ways, it's too easy to forget that they are men and women just like the rest of us, and Witcover makes their personal uncertainties--and agonies--very vivid. ( )
  john.cooper | Jun 24, 2014 |
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