Catalogue


In his own right : the political odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy /
Joseph A. Palermo.
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2001.
description
xv, 349 p. : ill.
ISBN
0231120680 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Columbia University Press, c2001.
isbn
0231120680 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4419353
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Joseph A. Palermo has written for Peace and Change and other journals. He teaches at Cornell University and Colgate College
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2001-05-21:
During the last years of his life from his Senate election in 1964 to his murder in 1968 Robert F. Kennedy underwent a profound transformation, according to Palermo in this sympathetic but not uncritical study. Known primarily during his brother's presidency as a ruthless political operative with few obvious populist sentiments, Kennedy emerged during this later time as the passionate, compassionate and effective leader of a diverse coalition of grassroots organizations encompassing antiwar protestors, working-class whites, African Americans and others. The arc of Kennedy's odyssey forms Palermo's story. Drawing on a wide array of correspondence and documents, many previously unseen, Palermo portrays Kennedy as a person with an enormous ability to learn and to empathize. Cautious at first in his opposition to the Vietnam War, through conversation and correspondence with both scholars and common soldiers Kennedy soon turned solidly against the conflict and against a sitting president, Lyndon Johnson. (The story of the relationship between the two men, as well as that of Kennedy's interactions with Eugene McCarthy, whom he opposed in the 1968 Democratic presidential primaries, is well told here.) Similarly, Kennedy became ever sharper in his critiques of racism and economic inequality, ever more aligned with those he saw as disenfranchised. Yet he was able to maintain ties with mainstream politicians such as Mayor Daley of Chicago. Tragically, this fragile politics of inclusion could not survive Kennedy's death. Palermo, who teaches at Cornell and has written for Peace & Change and other journals, paints a vivid portrait of the problems and promise of the 1960s and the way Kennedy shaped and was shaped by that era. Photos. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-05-01:
Robert Kennedy used his position as senator from New York (1965-68) to lead a coalition of grass-roots voters members of the peace and Civil Rights movements, African Americans, members of the working class in a fight for the liberal soul of the Democratic party while making a credible challenge for the 1968 presidency, notes Palermo (Cornell Univ.). He struggled with President Johnson, who attacked his patriotism because he was an early advocate of a negotiated peace settlement in Vietnam, and with Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Johnson's hawkish surrogate, who continued the fight over Vietnam during their battle for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination. "Peace candidate" Eugene McCarthy is portrayed as an indifferent senator with a poor record on civil rights who lost many votes and credibility when Kennedy replaced the Vietnam issue as his focus. Evan Thomas's Robert Kennedy: His Life (LJ 8/00) and Jeff Shesol's Mutual Contempt (LJ 9/15/97) offer more lively accounts of Kennedy's feuds, but Palermo provides a thorough investigation of RFK as political leader that is a worthy continuation of the years covered in James Hilty's Robert Kennedy: Brother Protector (LJ 4/15/98). Strongly recommended for academic collections and recommended for larger public libraries. Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
This agile and richly documented narrative contributes substantially to the political history of the 1960's.
"This agile and richly documented narrative contributes substantially to the political history of the 1960's." -- James W. Hilty, American Historical Review
A vivid portrait of the problems and promise of the 1960s and the way Kennedy shaped and was shaped by the era.
"A vivid portrait of the problems and promise of the 1960s and the way Kennedy shaped and was shaped by the era." -- Publishers Weekly
Joseph Palermo's superb account of Robert Kennedy's final four years... deserves close attention not only because [he] exhaustively researched the available primary documents and secondary literature, but because, for all his admiration for the way Kennedy turned himself into a different person and politician by 1968, [Palermo] understands the harsh choices the New York senator had to make after 1964, then explains those choices with both a sure grasp of the politics and an admirable succinctness.
"Joseph Palermo's superb account of Robert Kennedy's final four years... deserves close attention not only because [he] exhaustively researched the available primary documents and secondary literature, but because, for all his admiration for the way Kennedy turned himself into a different person and politician by 1968, [Palermo] understands the harsh choices the New York senator had to make after 1964, then explains those choices with both a sure grasp of the politics and an admirable succinctness." -- Walter LaFeber, The Bookpress
Palermo does a fine job of attempting to link Kennedy to social movements and grass-roots mobilization by groups in this country. His book is a well-researched, clearly written study that is well worth reading.
"Palermo does a fine job of attempting to link Kennedy to social movements and grass-roots mobilization by groups in this country. His book is a well-researched, clearly written study that is well worth reading." -- Rhetoric and Public Affairs
An important contribution to Kennedy scholarship, a highly readable and sympathetic portrayal of RFK.
"An important contribution to Kennedy scholarship, a highly readable and sympathetic portrayal of RFK." -- Journal of American History
A thorough investigation of RFK as a political leader that is a worthy continuation of the years covered in James Hilty's Robert Kennedy: Brother Protector.
"A thorough investigation of RFK as a political leader that is a worthy continuation of the years covered in James Hilty's Robert Kennedy: Brother Protector." -- Library Journal
"A thorough investigation of RFK as a political leader that is a worthy continuation of the years covered in James Hilty's Robert Kennedy: Brother Protector. " -- Library Journal
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2001
Publishers Weekly, May 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Robert Kennedy's role in American politics during the 1960s was pivotal yet has defied attempts to define it. He was a junior senator from New York, but he was also much more. The public perceived him as possessing the intangible qualities of his brother, the slain president. From 1965 to 1968 Kennedy struggled to find his own voice in national affairs. In His Own Right examines this crucial period of Robert Kennedy's political career, combining the best of political biography with a gripping social history of the social movements of the 1960s. How did Kennedy make the transformation from cold warrior to grassroots activist, from being a political operator known for ruthlessness toward his opponents to becoming, by 1968, a "tribune of the underclass"? Based on never before seen documents, this intimate portrait of one of the most respected politicians never elected president describes Robert Kennedy's relationship with such well-known activists and political players as Benjamin Spock, Eugene McCarthy, Allard Lowenstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez, as well as the ordinary men and women who influenced Kennedy's views as he came to stand in the public arena and in the national consciousness as a man and a leader in his own right.
Main Description
Robert Kennedy's role in American politics during the 1960s was pivotal yet has defied attempts to define it. He was a junior senator from New York, but he was also much more. The public perceived him as possessing the intangible qualities of his brother, the slain president. From 1965 to 1968 Kennedy struggled to find his own voice in national affairs.In His Own Rightexamines this crucial period of Robert Kennedy's political career, combining the best of political biography with a gripping social history of the social movements of the 1960s. How did Kennedy make the transformation from cold warrior to grassroots activist, from being a political operator known for ruthlessness toward his opponents to becoming, by 1968, a "tribune of the underclass"? Based on never before seen documents, this intimate portrait of one of the most respected politicians never elected president describes Robert Kennedy's relationship with such well-known activists and political players as Benjamin Spock, Eugene McCarthy, Allard Lowenstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez, as well as the ordinary men and women who influenced Kennedy's views as he came to stand in the public arena and in the national consciousness as a man and a leader in his own right.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Prologue: The Odyssey Beginsp. 1
On His Own: Kennedy's Evolving Critique of the War, May 1965-February 1966p. 8
A Slow Path to Peace: Kennedy Calls for a Negotiated Settlement, March 1966-March 1967p. 32
At the Center of the Storm: Kennedy and the Shifting Political Winds of 1967p. 57
"The Hottest Place in Hell": Kennedy, the Democrats, and the McCarthy Candidacyp. 77
The Collapse of the Myths: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Tet Offensive, January-February 1968p. 100
The Breaking Point: Kennedy Responds to Tet, February 8, 1968p. 117
Fifteen Days in March: Kennedy Challenges Johnson, March 1968p. 130
Civil Rights and the Urban Rebellions: Kennedy, King, and the Politics of Race, 1965-1968p. 161
Building a Coalition: Kennedy and the Primaries, March 16-May 28, 1968p. 188
California: Kennedy's Last Campaign, May 1-June 6, 1968p. 220
Conclusion: A Potential Unrealizedp. 250
Notesp. 259
Bibliographyp. 323
Indexp. 337
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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