Library Journal Review
Although former New York senator Robert Kennedy (1925-68) only held elected office from 1965 to 1968, he remains a political icon. Here, Allen, who served as President Bill Clinton's deputy assistant, updates the late Guthman's (Kennedy's press officer from 1961 to 1965) original 1993 edition of this book. The editors include what they consider to be Kennedy's most memorable speeches, and Allen adds commentary on the politician's legacy from former presidents Clinton and Barack Obama, pundit Van Jones, and U2 singer Bono. This anthology is divided into four chapters that cover Kennedy's service as counsel for the Senate Rackets Committee, 1956-59; his term as attorney general, 1961-64; his tenure as senator; and his tragic 1968 presidential campaign. Rich background information on policy and historical context introduces each chapter and frames each speech, which reveal Kennedy's appeal to Democrats and Republicans, minorities and the middle class. Themes include civil rights, mistrust of large government, citizen participation in local government, eliminating poverty, and ending the Vietnam War. The speeches demonstrate Kennedy's skill at connecting with large, enthusiastic audiences with promises of hope and equality. A companion website (rfkspeeches.com) features videos of speeches included here. VERDICT Will mostly appeal to RFK admirers, historians, and political communications specialists.-Karl Helicher, formerly with Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.