|About the Book|
Although Robert Kennedy is probably best remembered today for the 1968 presidential campaign and his years as Attorney General in his brothers administration, his real political legacy was forged in the Senate. Without his Senate years, Robert Kennedy would probably not have bid for the presidency in 1968, run in the California primary election, or been assassinated. It was in the Senate that his political development took shape, as he changed from a conservative Democrat in favour of US involvement in Vietnam to a champion of the anti-war movement. Yet this is the first book of its kind to study Kennedy during these critical years, presenting a thoroughly accessible examination of the man who might have become the second President Kennedy. Drawing on interviews with Senate colleagues, former staff members, civil rights activists and political opponents, Brian Dooley focuses on Kennedys attempts to forge a new coalition during the mid-60s out of the debris of the old New Deal coalition. He concentrates on Kennedys bid to build a new power-base primarily made up of blacks, the poor, the young, those disillusioned with the Vietnam war, and workers outside the traditional labour union structures. He examines Kennedys involvement in civil rights, the New Left and foreign policy, and he analyses the 1968 presidential campaign and its tragic end in Bobbys assassination.