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The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert Kennedy

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  125 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
An illuminating and comprehensive look at the remarkable--and tragically shortened--career of one of America's most promising leaders
Structured around the 1968 Democratic presidential campaign, "The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert Kennedy "offers an in-depth exploration of Robert Kennedy, both as a man and a politician. Kennedy's mass appeal to minority groups, his antiwar s
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Paperback, 214 pages
Published 1969 by Bantam
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Dylan
Oct 04, 2007 Dylan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ted
This is a much abridged version of my first review. Goodreads could not handle the volume of characters I dedicated to this book so I made it a book chapter in Political Essays (also on goodreads). Here is the shortened version, it does neither Halberstam nor Kennedy justice, but there it is:

I always knew there was something special about Bobby Kennedy—my mom told me so. But until I read this book I wasn’t quite able to put my finger on what it was. His celebrity is there, though admittedly less
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Jane Buchbauer
Halberstam relays his experience of traveling with the Kennedy campaign in the 1968 primary season that ended in Kennedy's assassination. A bit of a tedious read, it tells the story from the perspective of Halberstam as a member of the press corp. It gives some but little of the background that brought Bobby Kennedy to run for president with interesting insights into the problems faced by Lyndon B. Johnson that led to his announcement not to run for reelection. It ends at the California primary ...more
Aaron Finestone
Apr 13, 2013 Aaron Finestone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On a shady court house lawn in Brooklyn stands the statue of Robert F. Kennedy. People walk by. I wonder if they notice the statue or realize who he was.

Open Road Integrated Media has released as an e-book David Halberstam’s memoir of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 campaign for President.

Halberstam’s writing is delicious. The reporting is fresh. The book was written months after RFK’s assassination. It captures the spirit of the times and the excitement of Kennedy’s campaign, unfettered by historical
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Amanda
Apr 17, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I like everything that David Halberstam ever wrote, and I would put this one in that list BUT it felt a bit disjointed for someone who has such a clear structure for the other things I've read. Maybe it was because he was writing it in the moment, a few months after his tragic assassination, and his writing almost felt like someone in shock who is going through the motions of reporting but grappling with the emotional shock of his death. Even though he made references that someone in 1968 would ...more
Bob
Oct 06, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Summary: This is a classic account of Robert Kennedy's last campaign tracing his decision to run, primary campaigns and evolving political vision that ended on the night of his primary victory in California.

We are entering primary season again. So I turned to this classic account by distinguished journalist David Halberstam, who traveled with Robert Kennedy during his 1968 campaign for the presidency, cut short on the night of his primary victory in California.

He begins with Kennedy's struggle w
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Andrew
Oct 06, 2009 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something ironic and morbid about reading this real-time account of RFK's 1968 primary campaign when we know how the story must end. The final pages are exquisitely written.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
3 STARS

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

"Structured around the 1968 Democratic presidential campaign, The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert Kennedy offers an in-depth exploration of Robert Kennedy, both as a man and a politician.

Kennedy’s mass appeal to minority groups, his antiwar stance, and his support from Catholics made him unlike any other politician of his stature in the late 1960s. Acclaimed journalist David Halberstam dives into Kennedy’s career, covering
...more
Lynn Smith
Sep 21, 2016 Lynn Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. It was well written and easy to read. I've never read much about Robert Kennedy except a few things about his assassination. I definitely learned things about him I did not know and it brought new insights to the JFK administration and his role, and what led him to run for President in 1968 (he was really planning to run in 1972 but event propelled him to run in 1968). The book ends rather abruptly, right as RFK has just won the California primary and is about to head down ...more
Claire Baxter
Mar 20, 2016 Claire Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book, but I am a huge fan of Robert Kennedy so always enjoy reading about him! At times though I wasn't really sure where this book was headed our what its purpose was. If you are only going to read one book about the 1968 campaign, I'd probably suggest Thurston Clarke's 'The Last Campaign' instead.
Shirley D. Stahl
The Unfinished Story of Robert Kennedy

I was disappointed that the author did not cover Robert Kennedy's assassination - at least, the circumstances surrounding his death. In his thorough style of reporting events in his writings, this book seems to be incomplete.
Bobbie57
Jul 12, 2015 Bobbie57 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a political wonk and I loved this book. The sad thing is that so many of the issues involved in this campaign still exist today.
Anup Sinha
A most interesting perspective because it is written by a famed writer (David Halberstam) who covered RFK closely and penned this book just shortly after his assassination. We all have our retrospective opinions of RFK and the kind of president he could have been, but this is a genuine article of the very time. I enjoyed it, Halberstam's style is very serious and matter of fact, younger readers may find it boring, but he told the story well.
Hasan
Jan 10, 2013 Hasan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good book about the unfinished campaign of Robert Kennedy. With his loss, America lost the person who could unite the country on racial issues, lost the most sincere advocate for the poor, and lost the sense of idealism that started with John Kennedy in the 1960.

The Democratic Party lost two enormous political giants - both brothers - in the 1960s, a loss that they still haven't overcome even in the age of Obama some 40 years later.
Alasdair
Apr 09, 2011 Alasdair rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not Halbersham's best - structured around the 1968 Democratic Presidential campaign, it falied somehow to capture the essence of the man - perhaps spending too much time on the periphery of events rather than on the man himself. Nonethless it gives a somewhat interesting insight into the campaign itself - the mundanity and the grind.
Bill
Jul 06, 2015 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
RFK

Great backstory of the 68 campaign. It really makes you think what might've happened if he had but been killed.
Jim
Jan 12, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even more tragic knowing that not only the subject, but the author too, left us before his time.
Robert
May 06, 2008 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit too much in love with his subject.
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Sep 20, 2016
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Sep 21, 2016
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David Halberstam (April 10, 1934–April 23, 2007) was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author known for his early work on the Vietnam War and his later sports journalism.

Halberstam graduated from Harvard University with a degree in journalism in 1955 and started his career writing for the Daily Times Leader in West Point, Mississippi. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, writing for
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