Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

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“A multilayered, inspiring portrait of RFK . . . [the] most in-depth look at an extraordinary figure whose transformational story shaped America.”—Joe Scarborough, The Washington Post

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Soon to be a Hulu original series starring Chris Pine. Larry Tye appears on CNN’s American Dynasties: The Kennedys.

“We are in Larry Tye’s debt for bringing back to life the young presidential candidate who . . . almost half a century ago, instilled hope for the future in angry, fearful Americans.”—David Nasaw, The New York Times Book Review

Bare-knuckle operative, cynical White House insider, romantic visionary—Robert F. 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 biography.

History remembers RFK 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 began with his service as counsel to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to capture the full arc of his subject’s life. Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates, many of whom have never spoken publicly, including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, and his sister, Jean. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory opinions means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive biography about the most complex and controversial member of the Kennedy family.

Praise for Bobby Kennedy

“A compelling story of how idealism can be cultivated and liberalism learned . . . Tye does an exemplary job of capturing not just the chronology of Bobby’s life, but also the sense of him as a person.”Los Angeles Review of Books

“Captures RFK’s rise and fall with straightforward prose bolstered by impressive research.”USA Today

“[Tye] has a keen gift for narrative storytelling and an ability to depict his subject with almost novelistic emotional detail.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Nuanced and thorough . . . [RFK’s] vision echoes through the decades.”The Economist
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About the author

Larry Tye has been an award-winning journalist at The Boston Globe and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He now runs a Boston-based training program for medical journalists. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Satchel, as well as Superman, The Father of Spin, Home Lands, and Rising from the Rails, and co-author, with Kitty Dukakis, of Shock. He lives in Massachusetts.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jul 5, 2016
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Pages
608
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ISBN
9780679645207
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / United States / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the Senate, I've tried to do two things: tell the truth, and do what I said I would do. We should expect that from every single elected official.

Washington D.C. desperately needs leaders who aren't afraid to tell the truth. And Ted Cruz tells the truth—about political collusion, a corrupted legislative process, and the bureaucratic barriers to actually fixing the enormous challenges we face. Cruz's truth-telling habit hasn't made him popular in Washington. But it has earned him millions of supporters nationwide.

Since his election to the Senate in 2012, Ted Cruz has refused to go along with the established way of doing business in Washington. In A Time for Truth, the outspoken Texas Senator tells his story for the first time—the story of a Cuban immigrant's son who made it to the Ivy League, to the Supreme Court bar, and eventually to the U.S. Senate. It's a deeply personal journey that begins with Cruz's father's experience of brutality in a Cuban prison and ends with Cruz's discovery that Washington has neither the courage nor the desire to do what is needed to preserve the freedom and opportunities that gave hope to his father and millions like him.

Cruz discusses his role in the 2000 recount, helping to elect a president he respects—and whom he would have to stand up to a few short years later when he served as the solicitor general of Texas. He provides a behind-the-scenes look at his remarkable grassroots campaign for the U.S. Senate. And he reveals the true story behind his twenty-one-hour Senate filibuster, where he gave the most famous bedtime reading of Green Eggs and Ham in history.

Pulling back the curtain on the backroom deals in Congress between Republicans, Democrats, and the lobbyists who keep them in office—instead of keeping them accountable—Cruz offers an inside look at what has gone so very wrong in our nation's capital. But he also makes an optimistic case that by reestablishing the principles of our founders, the opportunities for our citizens, and our unique place in the world, we can reignite the promise of America for generations to come.

A Time for Truth is sharp, funny, and honest.

What Cruz reveals will win him few friends in Washington. Then again, that isn't why he went there in the first place.

Few in Congress have accomplished more than David Bonior on behalf of average Americans. Whip is the story of how he did it.

In Eastside Kid, the first volume of his autobiography, former Congressman David Bonior recounted the upbringing that formed his lasting principles: love of the underdog, a passion for social justice. In Whip, he tells us how he put those principles to work as a member—and a leader—of the US House of Representatives.

David Bonior spent twenty-six years in Congress, compiling a record as one of Washington’s most effective progressives. Respected by his colleagues for both his personal integrity and his legislative savvy, Bonior was elected by his party’s caucus to serve for eleven years as Democratic Whip, one step below Leader in the party hierarchy.

From his arrival in Congress in 1977 Bonior was determined to make an impact. In the ‘70s he organized the effort in Congress to recognize the neglected needs of Vietnam veterans. In the ‘80s, he was Ronald Reagan’s most dogged congressional foe over US support for the Nicaraguan Contras. In the ‘90s he became the public face of opposition to NAFTA. No one was more responsible for the downfall of Newt Gingrich—except perhaps Gingrich himself. And when Bill Clinton finally confessed his affair with Monica Lewinsky, it was Bonior who mobilized House Democrats to resist calls for the president to resign. Fueled in equal part by his working-class values and by the zeal for competition he developed as a star high-school athlete, Bonior never failed to fight the good fight.

Bonior takes us backstage at Congress, where his brilliance as a legislative tactician helped turn ideas into law. But Whip is no dry, inside-the-Beltway recitation of names, dates, and bills. We are treated to vivid portraits of the people Bonior worked with, such as Speaker Tip O’Neill and both Presidents Bush. And we learn that once upon a time, Republicans and Democrats socialized together—at the White House Christmas party and the House gym.

Key to the Bonior story was his ability, as a leading progressive, to keep winning reelection in a district renowned as the home of the Reagan Democrat. We see him meeting constituents at barbecues and farms, post offices and small-town parades. And we see his trademark, the pine seedling: In his quarter-century of electioneering and outreach, he distributed a million of them. “Bonior trees” still dot his district.

Few in Congress have accomplished more than David Bonior on behalf of average Americans. Whip is the story of how he did it.

Extensively illustrated with 85 photographs.

David E. Bonior is contributing funds from the sale of this book to Mikva Challenge (www.mikvachallenge.org)
An engaging social history that reveals the critical role Pullman porters played in the struggle for African American civil rights

When George Pullman began recruiting Southern blacks as porters in his luxurious new sleeping cars, the former slaves suffering under Jim Crow laws found his offer of a steady job and worldly experience irresistible. They quickly signed up to serve as maid, waiter, concierge, nanny, and occasionally doctor and undertaker to cars full of white passengers, making the Pullman Company the largest employer of African American men in the country by the 1920s.

In the world of the Pullman sleeping car, where whites and blacks lived in close proximity, porters developed a unique culture marked by idiosyncratic language, railroad lore, and shared experience. They called difficult passengers "Mister Charlie"; exchanged stories about Daddy Jim, the legendary first Pullman porter; and learned to distinguish generous tippers such as Humphrey Bogart from skinflints like Babe Ruth. At the same time, they played important social, political, and economic roles, carrying jazz and blues to outlying areas, forming America's first black trade union, and acting as forerunners of the modern black middle class by virtue of their social position and income.

Drawing on extensive interviews with dozens of porters and their descendants, Larry Tye reconstructs the complicated world of the Pullman porter and the vital cultural, political, and economic roles they played as forerunners of the modern black middle class. Rising from the Rails provides a lively and enlightening look at this important social phenomenon.

From a prize-winning biographer comes the defining portrait of a man who led America in a time of turmoil and left us a darker age. We live today, John A. Farrell shows, in a world Richard Nixon made.
 
At the end of WWII, navy lieutenant “Nick” Nixon returned from the Pacific and set his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now-legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon’s finer attributes gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. The story of that transformation is the stunning overture to John A. Farrell’s magisterial biography of the president who came to embody postwar American resentment and division.
     Within four years of his first victory, Nixon was a U.S. senator; in six, the vice president of the United States of America. “Few came so far, so fast, and so alone,” Farrell writes. Nixon’s sins as a candidate were legion; and in one unlawful secret plot, as Farrell reveals here, Nixon acted to prolong the Vietnam War for his own political purposes. Finally elected president in 1969, Nixon packed his staff with bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, welfare, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War.
     Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. He was elected to end the war in Vietnam, but his bombing of Cambodia and Laos enraged the antiwar movement. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who played white against black with a “southern strategy,” and spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country’s elites. Ever insecure and increasingly paranoid, he persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal of Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace.
     Richard Nixon is a gripping and unsparing portrayal of our darkest president. Meticulously researched, brilliantly crafted, and offering fresh revelations, it will be hailed as a master work.
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