Monday, January 11, 2010

New Year: Yet More New Resolutions

I don't know why I can't get more done with this blog. I always have new and interesting things to share, whether it's about books, music, movies, work or the Mariners. I'll simply say I'm going to do better.

I received a few books for Christmas. Among them was Thurston Clarke's mini-history The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America. I stayeid up way too late to finish the book last night. Though I've read Evan Thomas' biography of RFK and have collected lots of his political memorabilia, I learned a lot about his campaign through this book.

Though it was clear that Bobby was haunted in his own head and from others by brother John's assassination in 1963, Clarke makes it absolutely clear that RFK was clearly fearful of his own death. Reminded by his family and his close advisors that he was in danger simply by running, Bobby was responded fearfully to loud noises such as firecrackers, or cars backfiring, frequently covering his eyes with his hands.

On the other hand, Kennedy ran a reckless campaign that put him constant contact with crowds, and promising America a Kennedy presidency that would seriously challenge the existing power structure. He promised attention to the poor, elevating the status of minorities and increased taxes for the comfortable.

The book gives a glimpse inside the Democratic primaries of 1968, painting a none-too-flattering picture of all the candidates, including Kennedy. It's well done, of readable length, and very accessible.

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