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Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America (08 Edition)

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“Piercing and painstakingly researched, its political history written right.”—New York magazine

The Last Campaign is Thurston Clarkes bestselling, definitive account of Robert Kennedys exhilarating and tragic 1968 campaign for president: it is a revelatory, resonant, vivid, and moving narrative history.

After John F. Kennedys assassination, Robert Kennedy—formerly Jacks no-holds-barred political warrior—had almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brothers murder, and by the nations seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the countrys pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedys promise to lead them toward a better time.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, The Last Campaign goes right to the heart of Americas deepest despairs—and most fiercely held dreams—and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national dramas of his times.

Thurston Clarke has written eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

After John F. Kennedys assassination, Robert Kennedy—formerly Jacks no-holds-barred political warrior—almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brothers murder, and by the nations seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the countrys pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedys promise to lead them toward a better time. And after an assassins bullet stopped this last great stirring public figure of the 1960s, crowds lined up along the countrys railroad tracks to say goodbye to Bobby.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, Thurston Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative that goes right to the heart of Americas deepest despairs—and most fiercely held dreams—and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national conflicts of his times.

"Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Clarke captures [Kennedy's] transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail."—Ted Widmer, The New York Observer
“A vivid portrait of a politician coming to a moral reckoning.”—David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“The images from The Last Campaign, Thurston Clarkes powerful account of Robert F. Kennedys campaign for the presidency . . . impel themselves on the reader, touching chords of memory and sorrow.”—Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

"The Last Campaign is a quick, engaging read, which once again reminds us of what might have been. Thurston Clarke draws numerous parallels between the Kennedy campaign of 1968 and the politics of the late 1990s through the current election cycle, and seems to have a great deal of disdain for both Democrats and Republican for not picking up the work and the legacy of Robert Kennedy. Nevertheless, after reading the book, I, like many others, couldn't help myself from asking the same question that so many have asked over the last 40 years: 'What if?'"—David A. Serafini, Daily News

“Piercing and painstakingly researched, its political history written right.”—New York Magazine

"An exhilarating read . . . [and] passionate retelling."—Gilbert Cruz, Time

"A ride inside the spinning bubble of [Kennedy's] frenzied, idealistic, doomed campaign."—The New Yorker

"Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Ever the contrarian, [Kennedy] would articulate angry black concerns to angry white audiences, and vice versa. Amazingly, he appealed to both, drawing in George Wallace supporters as well as Black Panthers. He would go hundreds of miles away from where the votes were to court Native Americans on reservations; children and elderly in ghettos; and remote rural Americans whove barely seen a presidential candidate since. He flouted an essential rule in American politics (never quote a French philosopher under any circumstances), citing Camus and Sartre with reckless abandon, and then immersing himself again in the crowd. Has there ever been a greater existentialist? Mr. Clarke captures this transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail. Though his anguish over Dallas never left him—and may have explained his desire to taunt danger—Mr. Clarke argues, persuasively, that R.F.K. was a completely different kind of Kennedy, willing to say things and go places that his more carefully scripted brother never would have . . . Hauntingly, he had predicted, just before his victory, that 'Los Angeles is my Resurrection City.' The religious wording almost fits—for as he wandered deeply into the invisible parts of America that lay below the poverty line, he began to seem like someone out of a medieval pilgrims tale, part Christian mendicant, part Greek philosopher. Just as J.F.K. had loved Camelot, so R.F.K. loved Man of La Mancha, and throughout this book theres a sense of the quixotic journey, and the beautiful world that might have come into existence if the pilgrimage had reached a better terminus. One witness cites the 'phantom presidency' that all of R.F.K.s staff identified with, like the memory of an amputated limb, long after his assassination."—Ted Widmer, The New York Observer

"I'll be shocked if I read a more devastatingly beautiful book than Thurston Clarke's The Last Campaign . . . this year."—Austin American-Statesman

"Thurton Clarke's new book, The Last Campaign, shines new light on one of the darkest chapters in American political history. Forty years since Robert F. Kennedy's incredible presidential campaign was snuffed out by crazed assassin Sirhan Sirhan, Clarke reveals that despite the passage of time, the killing remains a wound that will never heal for the men and women who knew him best."—David Exum, Boston Herald

"The transformation of Robert F. Kennedy after his brother's assassination is one of the most startling and inspiring events in modern American politics. The snarling, vindictive attorney general became a reflective presidential candidate who challenged his audiences to look beyond themselves and focus on the greater good. There have been lots of books about Kennedy's too-brief run for the White House in 1968; Clarke's is one of the very best."—Jeff Baker, The Oregonian (Portland)

 
"When Bobby Kennedy announced his run for president, America was on the brink of disaster. With an unwinnable war in Vietnam and social policies that weren't working on the home front, Kennedy worked for a tragically shortened time to bring back the social conscience of the country. Assassin-wary, Kennedy once predicted 'I'm afraid there are guns between me and the White House.' But Clarke doesn't get stuck on the might-have-beens had Kennedy not been correct. Instead, he reminds us that for a short period, Kennedy drew Americans together."—ML van Valkenburgh, Charleston City Paper  

"The Last Campaign is a great read, an evocative and engaging reminder of the glory and the tragedy of Bobby Kennedy's run for the presidency in 1968. Thurston Clarke's keen eye for the telling detail and his fast-paced narrative make The Last Campaign a must-have for any student of American politics."—Tom Brokaw

"The Last Campaign is a triumphant look at Robert F. Kennedy's heartfelt plunge into the poverty underbelly of America. The reader can't help but be moved at how deeply Kennedy cared about the underclass. Thurston Clarke has written a smart political book which actually inspires."—Douglas Brinkley

"Haven't had your fill of politics this year? Read about the presidential campaign of another first-term senator who preached hope in the face of racial divide, widespread poverty and an unpopular war. Thurston Clarke, of Willsboro, reveals both the pain and promise of 1968 America in The Last Campaign . . . Clarke presents a tempting look at what politics could have been—and still could be."—Adirondack Life

"There have been novels I have not wanted to end, so I found myself reading increasingly short sections. So it has been with this account of Robert Kennedy's final campaign, the 82 days in the spring of 1968 that ended with his assassination in June."—Charles Stephen, Lincoln Journal Star

"Perhaps the most chilling thing about this book is that Bobby Kennedys assassination, 40 years ago last month, was not only foreseeable but foreseen, by both the candidate and the people around him . . . Having examined contemporary accounts and interviewed survivors of the campaign and its press corps, Clarke makes the case that the allegedly ‘opportunistic' Kennedy—scorned by antiwar aficionados of Sen. Eugene McCarthy because, unlike McCarthy, he did not enter the presidential race until after President Lyndon Johnsons loss in the New Hampshire primary—had actually made his plans several days beforehand . . . As for the charge of 'ruthlessness' that dogged Kennedy, Clarke combats it with instance after instance of the candidates apparently genuine affection for poor people, whom he often spoke to, at his insistence, out of sight of cameras and reporters. He never pandered, always coupling a denunciation of the conditions in which minorities were forced to live with an equally strong statement against black violence, whether speaking before blacks or whites; always matching a statement against the war with one urging an end to the unfair system in which college students were granted deferments from the military draft, even when he was speaking to college audiences. Clarke—author of 11 books, including one about John Kennedys inaugural speech—chronicles Kennedy's off-the-cuff eloquence, quoting the likes of Aristotle, Aeschylus and Camus, but also the stammering style that sometimes afflicted and undermined him. All in all, the book is a fine piece of work that can remind us of—or introduce us to—a man who might really have made a difference in the life of the nation."—Alan Rosenberg, The Providence Journal 

"The assassination of his older brother in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963 devastated Robert Kennedy. He had idolised 'Jack' as a boy and never really lost his sense of devotion. After Dallas, his main feeling aside from loss, and in spite of a natural disposition towards arrogance, was one of deep unworthiness. How could he possibly live up top his brother's legacy? These doubts would resurface during his stirring campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1968, a story told with great verve and dramatic skill by Thurston Clarke in his enthralling book, The Last Campaign . . . In Clarke's assured hands, the campaign becomes the story of a personal and political coming of age. RFK in March 1968 was a slightly nerdy, unstable and delicate character, albeit with obvious talent and charisma. What the campaign process gave him was authority. As we've seen this year, one of the defining characteristics of American politics is the brutal attrition of the primary season—a punishing audition for the role as commander-in-chief of the world's number one power. Robert Kennedy was pushed to his limits and then exceeded them during 82 days of campaigning, most famously when announcing the death of Martin Luther King to a predominantly African-American crowd in Memphis. The result, Clarke persuasively argues, was the transformation of a candidate into a credible prospective president."—Richard Aldous, The Irish Times

“Clarkes findings help to explain the divisions that have riven this nation for a generation.  Heed this book, therefore, for the ideals and resentments that dominated that election are starkly similar to the ones facing todays voters.”—The Miami Herald

"The Last Campaign succeeds in framing a picture within a picture of a seminal year that reverberates to this day."—Steve Giegerich, The St. Louis Dispatch

"The fateful year of 1968 was one of passionate national division over issues of war, civil rights, social justice, and an increasing cultural permissiveness. Even four decades later, those searing divisions remain as strong and seemingly insurmountable as ever. As historian Thurston Clarke makes clear in The Last Campaign, a beautifully written and emotionally powerful examination of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign, Kennedy spoke about war and poverty directly from his heart, becoming what Clarke calls a 'leader who could heal and unify a wounded nation' . . . Thurston Clarke has built The Last Campaign on an incredible amount of research, both archival and through hundreds of interviews with those who knew Kennedy best. The result is a vivid, intimate, historical portrait of a candidate who knew how to speak to an electorate amid troubled times. Kennedy's take-no-prisoners advocacy for social justice struck a chord with many voters. Clarke's book will break your heart but it may also relieve your cynicism, reminding all of us that candidates need not pander to succeed."—Check Leddy, The Christian Science Monitor 

“A stunning, heartbreaking book, a reminder—which we badly need these days—of just how noble public life can be. Robert Kennedy's brief, passionate 1968 presidential campaign set a standard of courage and candor and sheer gorgeous language that is unlikely ever to be equaled.  This is a book worthy of the man and that moment, an honorable and unforgettable piece of work. The Last Campaign should be required reading for anyone seeking public office, and for the rest of us, too.”—Joe Klein

“I'll be shocked if I read a more devastatingly beautiful book than Thurston Clarke's The Last Campaign [this year] . . . Robert F. Kennedy's moral imagination shines in this book, so brightly, so compassionately, so full of literature and light and sacrifice, that it will haunt many readers who had hoped matters of war, poverty and inequality might have been solved 40 years ago.”—The Austin American-Statesman

 

The Last Campaign succeeds in framing a picture within a picture of a seminal year that reverberates to this day.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Last Campaign is a magnificent account of the final months in the life of a man who changed so many of us, and the brilliantly told story of a campaign that broke our hearts.”—E.J. Dionne, author of Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right

“Clarke compellingly recreates this 'huge, joyous adventure' . . . Kennedys gradual but determined evolution into a fearless, formidable, winning candidate makes stupendous reading.  The hope he inspired . . . still proves instructive and pertinent, especially in this election year.  Generous without being slavish, beautifully capturing Kennedys passion and dignity.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Revealing as an iconic portrait of the passionate, turbulent zeitgeist of the 1960s.”—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative of the action-packed 82 days of Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign as well as the heightened personal, racial, and political dramas of the time.

Synopsis:

Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York magazine

The Last Campaign is Thurston Clarke's bestselling, definitive account of Robert Kennedy's exhilarating and tragic 1968 campaign for president: it is a revelatory, resonant, vivid, and moving narrative history.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--had almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, The Last Campaign goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national dramas of his times. Thurston Clarke has written eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time. And after an assassin's bullet stopped this last great stirring public figure of the 1960s, crowds lined up along the country's railroad tracks to say goodbye to Bobby.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, Thurston Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative that goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national conflicts of his times. Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Clarke captures Kennedy's] transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail.--Ted Widmer, The New York Observer A vivid portrait of a politician coming to a moral reckoning.--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The images from The Last Campaign, Thurston Clarke's powerful account of Robert F. Kennedy's campaign for the presidency . . . impel themselves on the reader, touching chords of memory and sorrow.--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

The Last Campaign is a quick, engaging read, which once again reminds us of what might have been. Thurston Clarke draws numerous parallels between the Kennedy campaign of 1968 and the politics of the late 1990s through the current election cycle, and seems to have a great deal of disdain for both Democrats and Republican for not picking up the work and the legacy of Robert Kennedy. Nevertheless, after reading the book, I, like many others, couldn't help myself from asking the same question that so many have asked over the last 40 years: 'What if?'--David A. Serafini, Daily News

Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York Magazine

An exhilarating read . . . and] passionate retelling.--Gilbert Cruz, Time

A ride inside the spinning bubble of Kennedy's] frenzied, idealistic, doomed campaign.--The New Yorker

Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Ever the contrarian, Kennedy] would articulate angry black concerns to angry white audiences, and vice versa. Amazingly, he appealed to both, drawing in George Wallace supporters as well as Black Panthers. He would go hundreds of miles away from where the votes were to court Native Americans on reservations; children and elderly in ghettos; and remote rural Americans who've barely seen a presidential candidate since. He flouted an essential rule in American politics (never quote a French philosopher under any circumstances), citing Camus and Sartre with reckless abandon, and then immersing himself again in the crowd. Has there ever been a greater existentialist? Mr. Clarke captures this transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail. Though his anguish over Dallas never left him--and may have explained his desire to taunt danger--Mr. Clarke argues, persuasively, that R.F.K. was a completely different kind of Kennedy, willing to say things and go places that his more carefully scripted brother never would have . . . Hauntingly, he had predicted, just before his victory, that 'Los Angeles is my Resurrection City.' The religious wording almost fits--for as he wandered deeply into the invisible parts of America that lay below the poverty line, he began to seem like someone out of a medieval pilgrim's tale, part Christian mendicant, part Greek philosopher. Just as J.F.K. had loved Camelot, so R.F.K. loved Man of La Mancha, and throughout this boo

Synopsis:

Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York magazine

The Last Campaign is Thurston Clarke's bestselling, definitive account of Robert Kennedy's exhilarating and tragic 1968 campaign for president: it is a revelatory, resonant, vivid, and moving narrative history.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--had almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, The Last Campaign goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national dramas of his times. Thurston Clarke has written eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time. And after an assassin's bullet stopped this last great stirring public figure of the 1960s, crowds lined up along the country's railroad tracks to say goodbye to Bobby.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, Thurston Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative that goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national conflicts of his times. Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Clarke captures Kennedy's] transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail.--Ted Widmer, The New York Observer A vivid portrait of a politician coming to a moral reckoning.--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The images from The Last Campaign, Thurston Clarke's powerful account of Robert F. Kennedy's campaign for the presidency . . . impel themselves on the reader, touching chords of memory and sorrow.--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

The Last Campaign is a quick, engaging read, which once again reminds us of what might have been. Thurston Clarke draws numerous parallels between the Kennedy campaign of 1968 and the politics of the late 1990s through the current election cycle, and seems to have a great deal of disdain for both Democrats and Republican for not picking up the work and the legacy of Robert Kennedy. Nevertheless, after reading the book, I, like many others, couldn't help myself from asking the same question that so many have asked over the last 40 years: 'What if?'--David A. Serafini, Daily News

Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York Magazine

An exhilarating read . . . and] passionate retelling.--Gilbert Cruz, Time

A ride inside the spinning bubble of Kennedy's] frenzied, idealistic, doomed campaign.--The New Yorker

Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Ever the contrarian, Kennedy] would articulate angry black concerns to angry white audiences, and vice versa. Amazingly, he appealed to both, drawing in George Wallace supporters as well as Black Panthers. He would go hundreds of miles away from where the votes were to court Native Americans on reservations; children and elderly in ghettos; and remote rural Americans who've barely seen a presidential candidate since. He flouted an essential rule in American politics (never quote a French philosopher under any circumstances), citing Camus and Sartre with reckless abandon, and then immersing himself again in the crowd. Has there ever been a greater existentialist? Mr. Clarke captures this transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail. Though his anguish over Dallas never left him--and may have explained his desire to taunt danger--Mr. Clarke argues, persuasively, that R.F.K. was a completely different kind of Kennedy, willing to say things and go places that his more carefully scripted brother never would have . . . Hauntingly, he had predicted, just before his victory, that 'Los Angeles is my Resurrection City.' The religious wording almost fits--for as he wandered deeply into the invisible parts of America that lay below the poverty line, he began to seem like someone out of a medieval pilgrim's tale, part Christian mendicant, part Greek philosopher. Just as J.F.K. had loved Camelot, so R.F.K. loved Man of La Mancha, and throughout this book there's a sense of the quixotic journey, and the beautiful world that might have come into existence if the pilgrimage had reached a better terminus. One witness cites the 'phantom presidency' that all of R.F.K.'s staff identified with, like the memory of an amputated limb, long after his assassination.--Ted Widmer, The New York Observer

I'll be shocked if I read a more devastatingly beautiful book than Thurston Clarke's The Last Campaign . . . this year.--Austin American-Statesman

Thurton Clarke's new book, The Last Campaign, shines new light on one of the darkest chapters in American political history. Forty years since Robert F. Kennedy's incredible presidential campaign was snuffed out by crazed assassin Sirhan Sirhan, Clarke reveals that despite the passage of time, the killing remains a wound that will never heal for the men and women who knew him best.--David Exum, Boston Herald

The transformation of Robert F. Kennedy after his brother's assassination is one of the most startling and inspiring events in modern American politics. The snarling, vindictive attorney general became a reflective presidential candidate who challenged his audiences to look beyond themselves and focus on the greater good. There have been lots of books about Kennedy's too-brief run for the White House in 1968; Clarke's is one of the very best.--Jeff Baker, The Oregonian (Portland) When Bobby Kennedy announced his run for president, America was on the brink of disaster. With an unwinnable war in Vietnam and social policies that weren't working on the home front, Kennedy worked for a tragically shortened time to bring back the social conscience of the country. Assassin-wary, Kennedy once predicted 'I'm afraid there are guns between me and the White House.' But Clarke doesn't get stuck on the might-have-beens had Kennedy not been correct. Instead, he reminds us that for a short period, Kennedy drew Americans together.--ML van Valkenburgh, Charleston City Paper

The Last Campaign is a great read, an evocative and engaging reminder of the glory and the tragedy of Bobby Kennedy's run for the presidency in 1968. Thurston Clarke's keen eye for the telling detail and his fast-paced narrative make The Last Campaign a must-have for any student of American politics.--Tom Brokaw

The Last Campaign is a triumphant look at Robert F. Kennedy's heartfelt plunge into the poverty underbelly of America. The reader can't help but be moved at how deeply Kennedy cared about the underclass. Thurston Clarke has written a smart political book which actually inspires.--Douglas Brinkley

Haven't had your fill of politics this year? Read about the presidential campaign of another first-term senator who preached hope in the face of racial divide, widespread poverty and an unpopular war. Thurston Clarke, of Willsboro, reveals both the pain and promise of 1968 America in The Last Campaign . . . Clarke presents a tempting look at what politics could have been--and still could be.--Adirondack Life

There have been novels I have not wanted to end, so I found myself reading increasingly short sections. So it has been with this account of Robert Kennedy's final campaign, the 82 days in the spring of 1968 that ended with his assassination in June.--Charles Stephen, Lincoln Journal Star

Perhaps the most chilling thing about this book is that Bobby Kennedy's assassination, 40 years ago last month, was not only foreseeable but foreseen, by both the candidate and the people around him . . . Having examined contemporary accounts and interviewed survivors of the campaign and its press corps, Clarke makes the case that the allegedly 'opportunistic' Kennedy--scorned by antiwar aficionados of Sen. Eugene McCarthy because, unlike McCarthy, he did not enter the presidential race until after President Lyndon Johnson's loss in the New Hampshire primary--had actually made his plans several days beforehand . . . As

About the Author

Thurston Clarke has written eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including Pearl Harbor Ghosts and California Fault, a New York Times notable book. His articles have been published in Vanity Fair, Glamour, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Willsboro, New York, with his wife and three daughters.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805090222
Subtitle:
Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America
Author:
Clarke, Thurston
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Political History
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/60s
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Political Process - Elections
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090526
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 pp b, &, w photos
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.00 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » 1945 to Present
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » US History » Kennedy Family
History and Social Science » US History » Kennedy, Robert

Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America (08 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Holt McDougal - English 9780805090222 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative of the action-packed 82 days of Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign as well as the heightened personal, racial, and political dramas of the time.
"Synopsis" by , Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York magazine

The Last Campaign is Thurston Clarke's bestselling, definitive account of Robert Kennedy's exhilarating and tragic 1968 campaign for president: it is a revelatory, resonant, vivid, and moving narrative history.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--had almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, The Last Campaign goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national dramas of his times. Thurston Clarke has written eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time. And after an assassin's bullet stopped this last great stirring public figure of the 1960s, crowds lined up along the country's railroad tracks to say goodbye to Bobby.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, Thurston Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative that goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national conflicts of his times. Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Clarke captures Kennedy's] transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail.--Ted Widmer, The New York Observer A vivid portrait of a politician coming to a moral reckoning.--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The images from The Last Campaign, Thurston Clarke's powerful account of Robert F. Kennedy's campaign for the presidency . . . impel themselves on the reader, touching chords of memory and sorrow.--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

The Last Campaign is a quick, engaging read, which once again reminds us of what might have been. Thurston Clarke draws numerous parallels between the Kennedy campaign of 1968 and the politics of the late 1990s through the current election cycle, and seems to have a great deal of disdain for both Democrats and Republican for not picking up the work and the legacy of Robert Kennedy. Nevertheless, after reading the book, I, like many others, couldn't help myself from asking the same question that so many have asked over the last 40 years: 'What if?'--David A. Serafini, Daily News

Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York Magazine

An exhilarating read . . . and] passionate retelling.--Gilbert Cruz, Time

A ride inside the spinning bubble of Kennedy's] frenzied, idealistic, doomed campaign.--The New Yorker

Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Ever the contrarian, Kennedy] would articulate angry black concerns to angry white audiences, and vice versa. Amazingly, he appealed to both, drawing in George Wallace supporters as well as Black Panthers. He would go hundreds of miles away from where the votes were to court Native Americans on reservations; children and elderly in ghettos; and remote rural Americans who've barely seen a presidential candidate since. He flouted an essential rule in American politics (never quote a French philosopher under any circumstances), citing Camus and Sartre with reckless abandon, and then immersing himself again in the crowd. Has there ever been a greater existentialist? Mr. Clarke captures this transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail. Though his anguish over Dallas never left him--and may have explained his desire to taunt danger--Mr. Clarke argues, persuasively, that R.F.K. was a completely different kind of Kennedy, willing to say things and go places that his more carefully scripted brother never would have . . . Hauntingly, he had predicted, just before his victory, that 'Los Angeles is my Resurrection City.' The religious wording almost fits--for as he wandered deeply into the invisible parts of America that lay below the poverty line, he began to seem like someone out of a medieval pilgrim's tale, part Christian mendicant, part Greek philosopher. Just as J.F.K. had loved Camelot, so R.F.K. loved Man of La Mancha, and throughout this boo

"Synopsis" by , Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York magazine

The Last Campaign is Thurston Clarke's bestselling, definitive account of Robert Kennedy's exhilarating and tragic 1968 campaign for president: it is a revelatory, resonant, vivid, and moving narrative history.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--had almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, The Last Campaign goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national dramas of his times. Thurston Clarke has written eleven works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

After John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy--formerly Jack's no-holds-barred political warrior--almost lost hope. He was haunted by his brother's murder, and by the nation's seeming inabilities to solve its problems of race, poverty, and the war in Vietnam. Bobby sensed the country's pain, and when he announced that he was running for president, the country united behind his hopes. Over the action-packed eighty-two days of his campaign, Americans were inspired by Kennedy's promise to lead them toward a better time. And after an assassin's bullet stopped this last great stirring public figure of the 1960s, crowds lined up along the country's railroad tracks to say goodbye to Bobby.

With new research, interviews, and an intimate sense of Kennedy, Thurston Clarke provides an absorbing historical narrative that goes right to the heart of America's deepest despairs--and most fiercely held dreams--and tells us more than we had understood before about this complicated man and the heightened personal, racial, political, and national conflicts of his times. Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Clarke captures Kennedy's] transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail.--Ted Widmer, The New York Observer A vivid portrait of a politician coming to a moral reckoning.--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

The images from The Last Campaign, Thurston Clarke's powerful account of Robert F. Kennedy's campaign for the presidency . . . impel themselves on the reader, touching chords of memory and sorrow.--Michael Kenney, The Boston Globe

The Last Campaign is a quick, engaging read, which once again reminds us of what might have been. Thurston Clarke draws numerous parallels between the Kennedy campaign of 1968 and the politics of the late 1990s through the current election cycle, and seems to have a great deal of disdain for both Democrats and Republican for not picking up the work and the legacy of Robert Kennedy. Nevertheless, after reading the book, I, like many others, couldn't help myself from asking the same question that so many have asked over the last 40 years: 'What if?'--David A. Serafini, Daily News

Piercing and painstakingly researched, it's political history written right.--New York Magazine

An exhilarating read . . . and] passionate retelling.--Gilbert Cruz, Time

A ride inside the spinning bubble of Kennedy's] frenzied, idealistic, doomed campaign.--The New Yorker

Mr. Clarke advances at a sprightly pace, has a keen eye for detail and captures not only the externals but the fascinating inner dynamics of the contest . . . Ever the contrarian, Kennedy] would articulate angry black concerns to angry white audiences, and vice versa. Amazingly, he appealed to both, drawing in George Wallace supporters as well as Black Panthers. He would go hundreds of miles away from where the votes were to court Native Americans on reservations; children and elderly in ghettos; and remote rural Americans who've barely seen a presidential candidate since. He flouted an essential rule in American politics (never quote a French philosopher under any circumstances), citing Camus and Sartre with reckless abandon, and then immersing himself again in the crowd. Has there ever been a greater existentialist? Mr. Clarke captures this transformation with skill, showing R.F.K. emerging, page by page, into a brilliant and utterly iconoclastic politician over those short months on the trail. Though his anguish over Dallas never left him--and may have explained his desire to taunt danger--Mr. Clarke argues, persuasively, that R.F.K. was a completely different kind of Kennedy, willing to say things and go places that his more carefully scripted brother never would have . . . Hauntingly, he had predicted, just before his victory, that 'Los Angeles is my Resurrection City.' The religious wording almost fits--for as he wandered deeply into the invisible parts of America that lay below the poverty line, he began to seem like someone out of a medieval pilgrim's tale, part Christian mendicant, part Greek philosopher. Just as J.F.K. had loved Camelot, so R.F.K. loved Man of La Mancha, and throughout this book there's a sense of the quixotic journey, and the beautiful world that might have come into existence if the pilgrimage had reached a better terminus. One witness cites the 'phantom presidency' that all of R.F.K.'s staff identified with, like the memory of an amputated limb, long after his assassination.--Ted Widmer, The New York Observer

I'll be shocked if I read a more devastatingly beautiful book than Thurston Clarke's The Last Campaign . . . this year.--Austin American-Statesman

Thurton Clarke's new book, The Last Campaign, shines new light on one of the darkest chapters in American political history. Forty years since Robert F. Kennedy's incredible presidential campaign was snuffed out by crazed assassin Sirhan Sirhan, Clarke reveals that despite the passage of time, the killing remains a wound that will never heal for the men and women who knew him best.--David Exum, Boston Herald

The transformation of Robert F. Kennedy after his brother's assassination is one of the most startling and inspiring events in modern American politics. The snarling, vindictive attorney general became a reflective presidential candidate who challenged his audiences to look beyond themselves and focus on the greater good. There have been lots of books about Kennedy's too-brief run for the White House in 1968; Clarke's is one of the very best.--Jeff Baker, The Oregonian (Portland) When Bobby Kennedy announced his run for president, America was on the brink of disaster. With an unwinnable war in Vietnam and social policies that weren't working on the home front, Kennedy worked for a tragically shortened time to bring back the social conscience of the country. Assassin-wary, Kennedy once predicted 'I'm afraid there are guns between me and the White House.' But Clarke doesn't get stuck on the might-have-beens had Kennedy not been correct. Instead, he reminds us that for a short period, Kennedy drew Americans together.--ML van Valkenburgh, Charleston City Paper

The Last Campaign is a great read, an evocative and engaging reminder of the glory and the tragedy of Bobby Kennedy's run for the presidency in 1968. Thurston Clarke's keen eye for the telling detail and his fast-paced narrative make The Last Campaign a must-have for any student of American politics.--Tom Brokaw

The Last Campaign is a triumphant look at Robert F. Kennedy's heartfelt plunge into the poverty underbelly of America. The reader can't help but be moved at how deeply Kennedy cared about the underclass. Thurston Clarke has written a smart political book which actually inspires.--Douglas Brinkley

Haven't had your fill of politics this year? Read about the presidential campaign of another first-term senator who preached hope in the face of racial divide, widespread poverty and an unpopular war. Thurston Clarke, of Willsboro, reveals both the pain and promise of 1968 America in The Last Campaign . . . Clarke presents a tempting look at what politics could have been--and still could be.--Adirondack Life

There have been novels I have not wanted to end, so I found myself reading increasingly short sections. So it has been with this account of Robert Kennedy's final campaign, the 82 days in the spring of 1968 that ended with his assassination in June.--Charles Stephen, Lincoln Journal Star

Perhaps the most chilling thing about this book is that Bobby Kennedy's assassination, 40 years ago last month, was not only foreseeable but foreseen, by both the candidate and the people around him . . . Having examined contemporary accounts and interviewed survivors of the campaign and its press corps, Clarke makes the case that the allegedly 'opportunistic' Kennedy--scorned by antiwar aficionados of Sen. Eugene McCarthy because, unlike McCarthy, he did not enter the presidential race until after President Lyndon Johnson's loss in the New Hampshire primary--had actually made his plans several days beforehand . . . As

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