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Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit

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Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit
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Learn everything Chris Matthews can’t say on TV in this entertaining and illuminating look at the world politicians never let us see by the New York Times bestselling author of Hardball, “a must-read…about modern-day American politics and how it’s played” (The Wall Street Journal).

In 1988, Chris Matthews revolutionized how we think about politics with Hardball, the essential primer on the rules that govern the game of power. Now, with Politicians, Matthews shines a light on the inner workings of the game that’s always been obscured by the media and the key players themselves.

Politicians pulls back the curtain on a world our leaders insist on keeping secret because it would destroy the necessary illusion: that they personally answer every letter, that they never left home when they went to Washington, that they somehow remain just another friendly neighbor through all those years climbing their way up the Capitol ladder… Chris Matthews introduces the shadowy characters, including operatives and hatchet men, speechwriters and caseworkers. He ventures into the hidden places, from the control room where junketing politicians meet at midnight to drink government liquor, to the room where their minions knock out quickie, pre-fab responses to passionate letters from back home, to the Capitol plaza where senators sit in parked cars between votes to dial for dollars.

A necessary, timely follow up to his bestselling Hardball, Politicians is Chris Matthews’s insider tell-all, destined to become an instant classic.

Learn everything Chris Matthews can’t say on TV in this entertaining and illuminating look at the world politicians never let us see by the New York Times bestselling author of Hardball, “a must-read…about modern-day American politics and how it’s played” (The Wall Street Journal).In 1988, Chris Matthews revolutionized how we think about politics with Hardball, the essential primer on the rules that govern the game of power. Now, with Politicians, Matthews shines a light on the inner workings of the game that’s always been obscured by the media and the key players themselves.Politicians pulls back the curtain on a world our leaders insist on keeping secret because it would destroy the necessary illusion: that they personally answer every letter, that they never left home when they went to Washington, that they somehow remain just another friendly neighbor through all those years climbing their way up the Capitol ladder… Chris Matthews introduces the shadowy characters, including operatives and hatchet men, speechwriters and caseworkers. He ventures into the hidden places, from the control room where junketing politicians meet at midnight to drink government liquor, to the room where their minions knock out quickie, pre-fab responses to passionate letters from back home, to the Capitol plaza where senators sit in parked cars between votes to dial for dollars.A necessary, timely follow up to his bestselling Hardball, Politicians is Chris Matthews’s insider tell-all, destined to become an instant classic.
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Product Details
Sales Rank:
13,413
Pages:
416
Publication Date:
10/31/2017
ISBN13:
9781501111860
Product Dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x1.30(d)
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
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About the Author
Chris Matthews is anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball. He is author of Tip and the Gipper; Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero; Kennedy and Nixon; Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think; American: Beyond Our Grandest Notions; Hardball: How Politics Is Played by One Who Knows The Game; and Politicians: The Backroom World They Never Show Us.
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Bobby Kennedy



  • Bobby, 12, with younger brother Teddy.
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    Table of Contents

    Prologue 1

    Chapter 1 Altar Boy 15

    Chapter 2 Ambassador's Son 27

    Chapter 3 Honor Thy Father 37

    Chapter 4 Rites of Passage 51

    Chapter 5 Commitment 71

    Chapter 6 Brother 85

    Chapter 7 The Kennedy Party 95

    Chapter 8 Clan 107

    Chapter 9 Hail Mary 131

    Chapter 10 Irish Cop 145

    Chapter 11 Enforcer 161

    Chapter 12 The Enemy Within 175

    Chapter 13 Victory 185

    Chapter 14 Freedom Fighter 199

    Chapter 15 General 211

    Chapter 16 Two Great Men 225

    Chapter 17 Civil Rights 235

    Chapter 18 Relic 253

    Chapter 19 Brave Heart 271

    Chapter 20 Affirmation 289

    Chapter 21 The Movement 299

    Chapter 22 Vigil 309

    Chapter 23 Defiance 317

    Chapter 24 Sacrifice 331

    Chapter 25 Salute 339

    Acknowledgments 343

    Notes 347

    Bibliography 379

    Index 383

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    Editorial Reviews
    11/01/2017
    Matthews (Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero), the host of MSNBC's Hardball, offers an anecdotal and engaging biography of Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (1925–68), emphasizing his broad public appeal during the 1960s, when the then-junior senator was revered by the working and middle classes and minorities. The author challenges the conventional view that Kennedy was largely unaware of poverty and discrimination until he suffered the death of his brother John F. Kennedy. Rather, Matthews says, Bobby developed empathy for these groups while serving as an enlisted seaman. As a child, Kennedy sought but did not win his father's approval, giving him an appreciation for the underdog. This book offers a sketchy recounting of Kennedy's life, from his troubled youth, through his years working for Sen. Joe McCarthy and running John's successful 1960 presidential campaign to his own fatal campaign for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. Matthews includes interesting stories about his own years as a graduate student and participant in antiwar rallies, and what Kennedy meant to him during that time. VERDICT Both Evan Thomas's Robert Kennedy, and Larry Tye's Bobby Kennedy are deeply researched, comprehensive biographies. Matthews's less substantial but more personal work will appeal to general readers who want to understand the spirit of the times.—Karl Helicher, formerly with Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA2017-09-17
    Recounting Robert Kennedy's political career.Hardball anchor Matthews (Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, 2013, etc.) was much inspired by the Kennedy brothers. "All that youth and hope and sense of change: you couldn't be alive and not feel it," he writes. Having chronicled John F. Kennedy's life in two books (Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, 2011, and Kennedy and Nixon, 1996), the author now turns to Bobby, revealing his essential role in his brother's success and the trajectory of his own life in politics. The story is familiar: as the third son of an "overbearing, manipulative, and ever critical" father, Bobby longed for Joseph Kennedy's approval. He spent his youth in awe of his two older brothers, quietly honing a ruthlessness, decisiveness, and "righteous pugnacity" that would serve him well when he managed Jack's political campaigns, worked for Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and became a senator and presidential candidate himself. Bobby made enemies easily and for life. As his sister Eunice remarked, he had "a gift for estrangement." No one on Bobby's enemies list was as despised as Lyndon Johnson. When JFK invited Johnson to be his running mate, Bobby was enraged: "the stored-up hatred for the Texan…couldn't be appeased." The antipathy was mutual. After Kennedy's assassination, Johnson saw himself as next in line for the presidency in 1968, but as early as 1963, Johnson saw Bobby as "an inside threat to his obtaining the prize he'd signed on for." Matthews highlights Bobby's growing empathy for the poor, downtrodden, and marginalized and defends his entry into the 1968 presidential race, a decision made after Johnson had dropped out and anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy established a strong lead. Bobby, writes the author, was driven by "conscience and compassion" and by the heartfelt conviction that he could continue his brother's progressive agendas. Historian Arthur Schlesinger described Bobby as "a romantic stubbornly disguised as a realist," a judgment that Matthews underscores.A brisk, admiring portrait that burnishes the Kennedy image.“Chris Matthews evocatively brings the man and his moment back to life. It is a story that needs to be told again as a heroic counterpoint to the Trump era’s fundamental disrespect for the idea that politics can be a noble profession.”

    –John Avlon, The Daily Beast

    “Considerable insight from beginning to end”

    –The New Republic

    “A brisk, admiring portrait that burnishes the Kennedy image.”

    Kirkus Reviews

    “Cogently illustrates leadership qualities Kennedy possessed that are sorely lacking in today’s divisive culture.”

    Booklist

    “If you love reading about politics, if you ever loved the Kennedys or were fascinated by them, if you love biographical history or if you just like a good yarn about a brooding soul who turns into an uplifting, magnetic force—Chris Matthews’ “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit” Should be your next read. It’s well-researched, dramatically told. It brings those times—Camelot and after—back to life.”

    Lesley Stahl, Correspondent for 60 Minutes

    "Matthews is skilled at weaving tension and conflict throughout the book. One doesn’t just read the words, but experiences the tension and emotions....The depth of Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit provides insight into this man’s spirit and what drove him to greatness. Matthews does an excellent job of pulling Bobby out from behind any family shadows to give us an in-depth portrait of what could have been."

    New York Journal of Books

    "Readers witness the evolution of Kennedy’s soul. Through tragedy after tragedy we find the man humanized."

    –Associated Press (AP)
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    Customer Reviews (17)
    Bobby Kennedy
    That one life lost,that would have saved more lives than any other event in American history. The Vietnam war would have ended 4 years earlier and gun control would have been taken serious in the late 60's. Great story abou a great American.
    - Anonymous
    February 19, 2018
    Awesome book?
    Brought back so many memories and also thoughts of "what might have been".
    - Anonymous
    February 6, 2018
    Ripple of Hope
    Fifty years later, our ripples of hope and God’s grace will bring wisdom to our nation and make America ... America again. Chris Matthews’ presentation of Bobby Kennedy refreshes “the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny.
    - Anonymous
    July 17, 2018
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