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With the assassination of his brother, Robert Kennedy inherited the hopes and aspirations of a bereft nation adopting his brother's political legacy in what became a personal quest for vindication and redemption. A highly successful and controversial political player in his own right, RFK was on the verge of gaining the Democratic Presidential nomination in the last year o With the assassination of his brother, Robert Kennedy inherited the hopes and aspirations of a bereft nation adopting his brother's political legacy in what became a personal quest for vindication and redemption. A highly successful and controversial political player in his own right, RFK was on the verge of gaining the Democratic Presidential nomination in the last year of his life. His assassination in 1968 at the age of 43 felled a man who had come to represent the impossible hopes and ideals of a just political system. But who was this complex man? In this definitive work, master researcher and bestselling author of celebrity biographies C. David Heymann has exposed Kennedy's inner contradictions, the machinations of his political career, his private liaisons, his enemies, and his lovers. The book is filled with major revelations, including new details about: RFK's relationship with Jackie Kennedy after JFK's death; his sexual involvement with various movie stars; what really happened with Marilyn Monroe; and his dealings with J. Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohn, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jimmy Hoffa, and various notorious Mafia figures. Heymann spent over five years researching this book, interviewing over a thousand friends, family members, foes, political aides, and former employees of RFK, and gathering never-before-released documents from the FBI, the CIA, and Scotland Yard, among others. The result is a fascinating portrait of an American icon whose life embraced triumph and tragedy, deception and intrigue, power and passion.


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With the assassination of his brother, Robert Kennedy inherited the hopes and aspirations of a bereft nation adopting his brother's political legacy in what became a personal quest for vindication and redemption. A highly successful and controversial political player in his own right, RFK was on the verge of gaining the Democratic Presidential nomination in the last year o With the assassination of his brother, Robert Kennedy inherited the hopes and aspirations of a bereft nation adopting his brother's political legacy in what became a personal quest for vindication and redemption. A highly successful and controversial political player in his own right, RFK was on the verge of gaining the Democratic Presidential nomination in the last year of his life. His assassination in 1968 at the age of 43 felled a man who had come to represent the impossible hopes and ideals of a just political system. But who was this complex man? In this definitive work, master researcher and bestselling author of celebrity biographies C. David Heymann has exposed Kennedy's inner contradictions, the machinations of his political career, his private liaisons, his enemies, and his lovers. The book is filled with major revelations, including new details about: RFK's relationship with Jackie Kennedy after JFK's death; his sexual involvement with various movie stars; what really happened with Marilyn Monroe; and his dealings with J. Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohn, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jimmy Hoffa, and various notorious Mafia figures. Heymann spent over five years researching this book, interviewing over a thousand friends, family members, foes, political aides, and former employees of RFK, and gathering never-before-released documents from the FBI, the CIA, and Scotland Yard, among others. The result is a fascinating portrait of an American icon whose life embraced triumph and tragedy, deception and intrigue, power and passion.

30 review for RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Reread This book is filled with salacious gossip and I loved every minute of it. I don't personally believe most of the things in this book and given who the author was I feel pretty solid in my opinion. But that's not the point. Some biographies are about getting to know the subject on a deeper level and some are just gossipy fun. This book was gossipy fun, like reading a trashy blog or a tabloid back in the day. If you want to read every bit of gossip every said about Robert Kennedy then this b Reread This book is filled with salacious gossip and I loved every minute of it. I don't personally believe most of the things in this book and given who the author was I feel pretty solid in my opinion. But that's not the point. Some biographies are about getting to know the subject on a deeper level and some are just gossipy fun. This book was gossipy fun, like reading a trashy blog or a tabloid back in the day. If you want to read every bit of gossip every said about Robert Kennedy then this book is a good place to start. But if you want a more serious look at the life of the late Attorney General/ Senator then I'd read something else. I personally love this book, its like cotton candy, its bad for you but man its good!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex Rivas

    I enjoyed it from page one until the end. Very informative, I like the fact the it deals with U.S. history and with real life issues. I kind of knew that the Kennedys were naughty, but I really didn't know how involved they were with the Mafia and how promiscuous and unfaithful the whole gang was. On one side the Family is wealthy and powerful and on the other one has to wonder if there is really a curse on them.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This is quite literally the worst biography I have ever read. The narrative repeatedly strays into pointless and irrelevant tangents of innuendo that reveal nothing of RFK's life. It's almost as though the book were cobbled together by (incompetent) Republican oppo researchers working for the 1968 Nixon campaign.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven Leroy

    It was horrible. I bought this book at our Friends of the Library warehouse sale knowing nothing about the author. I’m no expert on Bob Kennedy, but even I noticed after a few chapters that it seemed like tabloids were the primary source material. So much so that I thought maybe I had found a GOP-sponsored biography of RFK. After some research on the author I added this to our Goodwill box. It’s garbage, don’t bother.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vincenzo Rascionato

    Almost too candid. While I'm sure there is some truth to all the rumor and innuendo, the book is almost exclusively based on 2nd and 3rd hand accounts. Still a very interesting read, and presents a unique viewpoint on the Kennedy's.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    The most important reason to read this book at this time in our history, IMHO, is to generate in your mind thoughts on why and how you support the candidates that you. Robert Kennedy was a complicated man--on some levels he was a real jerk (as were most of his male relatives) and on other levels he was evolving into what ideally we'd like to see in a candidate. There are parts of this book that I surely wish had not been written but the descriptions of political ways and means would make for a g The most important reason to read this book at this time in our history, IMHO, is to generate in your mind thoughts on why and how you support the candidates that you. Robert Kennedy was a complicated man--on some levels he was a real jerk (as were most of his male relatives) and on other levels he was evolving into what ideally we'd like to see in a candidate. There are parts of this book that I surely wish had not been written but the descriptions of political ways and means would make for a great discussion group.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    Entertainingly trashy and lurid.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Loved it. Learnt a lot - not all of it good.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Dorman

    According to David Cay Johnson in Newsweek, C. David Heymann was "extraordinarily reckless with the truth" in many or all of his famous biographies. The article cites several unverifiable sources used by Heymann and claims that others refute. Heymann is dead now, but based on this, it seems like he included some stories and claims that are probablly not true. Still, this is a substantial book that takes you through RFKs life in great detail, and I believe the verifiable accounts as being fairly a According to David Cay Johnson in Newsweek, C. David Heymann was "extraordinarily reckless with the truth" in many or all of his famous biographies. The article cites several unverifiable sources used by Heymann and claims that others refute. Heymann is dead now, but based on this, it seems like he included some stories and claims that are probablly not true. Still, this is a substantial book that takes you through RFKs life in great detail, and I believe the verifiable accounts as being fairly accurate. So, I enjoyed reading about RFKs early days in Washington and journey to becoming JFKs most trusted advisor. I had never read anything in such great details about the man and the times. Having grown up during that time period, I didn't want to revisit the JFKs and RFKs assassinations. Now I may read more. So, I recommend this book with reservations. If you can take a lot of the salacious stuff with a grain of salt, you might benefit from learning more about the historical events you think you know all about.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ron Johnson

    I enjoyed the biography but was terribly disappointed with the ending. I admired RFK and his causes, but the final chapter, which did nothing but try to exposed the problems with his wife and children left a really bad taste in my mind. The author seemed like he couldn't write a cohesive conclusion so he concentrated on negative attributes of the RFK clan instead of the good they did in a most difficult time in our country...1960-1970.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Russ Weimer

    A flawed man. He lived recklessly and died because he refused to have security around him. He ways a polarizing figure in the 60’s but really didn’t recognize that. His family has certainly endured many tragedies. A good book that didn’t pull punches on the romantic affairs of both JFK and RFK.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Xavier University Library

    Descriptive and engaging. Well paced, with colorful language. Hard to know, at some points, what is gossip and what is fact.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nick Dwyer

    i didnt like it. it focused on trying to uncover any possible scandals at any possible chance. usually the references as evidence were people who were not always identified, and when they were there was no evidence they even knew Kennedy. heymann even tries to say robert kennedy raped women, took drugs, had multiple extramarital affairs etc, which some things may be true but i think alot has been either made up or fabricated and exaggerated by many so called "witnesses". this book feeds off igno i didnt like it. it focused on trying to uncover any possible scandals at any possible chance. usually the references as evidence were people who were not always identified, and when they were there was no evidence they even knew Kennedy. heymann even tries to say robert kennedy raped women, took drugs, had multiple extramarital affairs etc, which some things may be true but i think alot has been either made up or fabricated and exaggerated by many so called "witnesses". this book feeds off ignorance of people. its a shame because the rest of the book, when sticking to the facts and truthful recounts, makes for good reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hotavio

    I picked it up for less than five dollars in a bargain bin at Wal-Mart! It was well worth it. Provided a lot of insight into this complex man. Covers his counter-insurgency programs that amounted to terrorism against Cuba, his battles as Attorney General, and the campaign leading up to his demise. The book particularly portrays the numerous scandals of the Kennedy administration including the Kennedy's mob connections prior to and during the 60 JFK campaign and the orgiastic behaviors of the bro I picked it up for less than five dollars in a bargain bin at Wal-Mart! It was well worth it. Provided a lot of insight into this complex man. Covers his counter-insurgency programs that amounted to terrorism against Cuba, his battles as Attorney General, and the campaign leading up to his demise. The book particularly portrays the numerous scandals of the Kennedy administration including the Kennedy's mob connections prior to and during the 60 JFK campaign and the orgiastic behaviors of the brothers in and out of the white house.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Larry Van Bibber

    I thoroughly enjoyed this biography. It covered a lot of details that I was not aware of. At times i was not sure if some of this was real or fictional but the author identified a lot of references to support his dialog. I was in my 20s in the 60s and knew what the newspapers published. I was familiar with the Hoffa issues but not fully aware of Joe's ties to the mafia.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather Hyde

    Really enjoyed this in the end! It doesn't deal so much with Bobby's childhood or home life, it's more an account of the Camelot years and focuses on his Attorney Generalship and subsequent running for the Senate, and of course all of his affairs! And despite his flaws, he did do a lot of good particularly in the poor and black communities and remains my favourite naughty Kennedy boy!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    A detailed look at the life of Robert Kennedy, both the good and the bad. I found it to be easy to read and filled with a lot of detail. Kennedy was no saint and he had his flaws, this book presents all facets of his life. It was good.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Fascinating study. Interesting to see both sides of RFK... Can't say I'm a big fan after reading this book. Still incredible to see his role in so many historic events. Would have liked less anecdotal here and there and more substance though.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Allen

    Way, Way too much lurid unsubstantiated stories. Some interesting material but overwhelmed by pages of rumors, etc. Once one gets to RFK's transformation after 11/1963 if is better but still more interested in titalating than expanding our knowledge of this most interesting man.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    A whirlwind history: heartbreaking, agonizing and fascinating.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Don

    It was too long and the story didn't move, making it hard to read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Wells

    The more and more I read about Robert Kennedy the less I view him as the good brother. Of course, this entire book could be fiction.

  23. 5 out of 5

    snowflakes

    It helps if you go into this knowing that it's like a voluminous edition of the National Enquirer. So some of it is very interesting, yet a lot of it one simply has to take with a grain of salt.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pat Mallas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jule

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nina

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gerry McCaffrey

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lee

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