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Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
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Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,291 ratings  ·  104 reviews
For decades, books about John or Robert Kennedy have woven either a shimmering tale of Camelot gallantry or a tawdry story of runaway ambition and reckless personal behavior. But the real story of the Kennedys in the 1960s has long been submerged -- until now. In Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, David Talbot sheds a dramatic new light on the tumultuous in ...more
ebook, 480 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,846)
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Roger DeBlanck
Of the dozens of books I've read on the Kennedys, David Talbot's research stands out as most insightful and original in breaking new ground. He introduces unknown and, indeed, "hidden" information on the Kennedy brothers and the Kennedy presidency and administration. I learned of incidents that I had not found discussed in other resources. The history, which Talbot covers in gripping language and detail, truly captures the essence of secretive events. The accounts and encounters Talbot relays ar ...more
Louise
This book has 3 major sections. It begins with convincing analysis of the motivations of the Mafia, CIA and anti-Castro Cubans. The next part focuses on RFK, his response to his brother's assassination and his subsequent career. The last part describes and discusses the cover up. Talbot doesn't get into the theories of the bullets, the capture of Oswald, shady life of Ruby, etc. The author is not out to prove one theory or another.

The book shows RFK was successful in mafia prosecutions and was m
...more
Eric
Aint no two, three of four ways about it.

The American military Industrial complex pumped bullets into President John F. Kennedy, splattering his brains all over his wife.

Then, when his brother Bobby( who wanted to be president in large part to find out who killed his brother) got close to winning, they killed him too.

Oh and they killed a few of Kennedy's girl friends along the way because they had too much influence on him.

This book is well researched, well written by a noted writer
Hortense
A fairy tale:

One is suave and athletic-looking but with a nasty case of Osteoporosis, requiring a back brace, addicted to muscle relaxing pills, gets massive injections of steroids, compulsively sheds his seed, pretends to like big breasts. Marries a very clever woman with small breasts who is absorbed into the fam and thereafter begins to look stunned and sound doped. The other one is small like a rodent, underfed, with buck-teeth, idealistic.

Their father, a respectable-ized former gangster wi
...more
Pete daPixie
Great book! If you are reading this review, and you have not read David Talbot's 'Brothers', then I strongly recommend that you get hold of a copy. It is of no consequence even if you are, like me, not American. This 'Hidden History of the Kennedy Years' is everyone's history, for every nationality, for every generation.

My own personal belief, that has grown stronger with the years is President John Kennedy saved my life.
As a snotty nosed English kid aged nine years old he was my hero after the
...more
Sandra Cox
This book lets the reader know about the political climate of the 60s which forced the Kennedy brothers into decisions they didnt want to make and some that they did. They wanted the US to get past the Cold War fear that the military and CIA wanted us to feel. Lots of JFK's speeches leading up to VietNam are pertinent today. I only wish we were still trying to be a peaceful nation which is what Kennedy wanted more than anything else. Thats why he made such strides in getting along with Khruschev ...more
David
I bought this book quite a long time ago and it’s taken me a few years to read: discovering – after I took the book home – that the book dabbled with conspiracy theories about JFKs assassination in November 1963 did rather put me off for a long time. After all, conspiracy theories about the President’s murder always had something of the air of a media circus about them and my sense was that most serious people accepted that the crime was committed by the lost and erratic Lee Harvey Oswald.

Having
...more
Jww
This book will convince most skeptical readers that there was a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy. Different readers might come to different conclusions about who was behind the assassination (other than Oswald), but the author lays out a complex web of things that are too many and too connected to be coincidence. Adding credence to the author's claims is the fact that reputable mainstream researchers have recently exposed the gaping holes and unexamined areas in the Warre ...more
B. Hallward
A fascinating book about the Kennedys that includes a hair-raising picture of the inner workings of the American government during the cold war, barely controlled generals pushing for nuclear war, a CIA answerable to no one. A great strength of this book is how it isn't framed as an argument for a particular conspiracy theory; instead it argues that the Warren report was an insulting failure to seriously investigate what happened, that the CIA lied to and successfully stonewalled generations of ...more
Caroline
This is a very very good book, insightful, thought-provoking, interesting and very moving. I found myself in tears at more than a few points. It's about Jack and Bobby Kennedy and their relationship throughout 'the Kennedy years'.

History seems to have sidelined Bobby and his murder over the years - the attention has always been on JFK and his assassination - but the way this book looked at Bobby broke my heart. Because Jack was his whole world, his primary focus - and when Jack was murdered Bobb
...more
Othon Leon
This book made go back to one of my favourite periods of US politics and characters as well. Very well written and very well researched in my opinion (not being an expert on the subject but having read many books on the matter I say that...). The book recounts the origins of the Kennedy family and the developments that took John to the White House and Robert to the State Department as well as the implications of them taking sides during those years in reference to diverse groups of power. Of cou ...more
Thomas
This is a unique look at the Kennedys from within the Kennedy camp. We witness the major events of our era through the eyes of Robert Kennedy and the close-knit "band of brothers."

While this book doesn't settle the issue of the John Kennedy Assassination, it establishes who the Kennedy clan and its allies felt was responsible. RFK firmly believed "they" killed his brother. Whatever the reader's opinion of the event, it is interesting to view RFK's life and career as products of that belief.

I was
...more
Janet
Begins on Nov 22nd with the compelling story of Bobby Kennedy on the day of his brother's death trying to find out more information about a possible conspiracy,making phone calls to the FBI,CIA,other officials.Even though well researched and documented,ultimately, I was disappointed with the book.the "usual suspects" take the blame for JFK's death.Was it the mafia?or the CIA? or possibly some anti-Catro exiles? the final answer is there is no defintive answer but lots of interesting speculation.
Diane
Anyone interested in a well researched account of the Kennedy assassinations, the relationship between JFK and RFK, and the inner workings of our government should read this book. After reading it, I am convinced that that both JFK and RFK were extraordinary, though flawed men, whose murders were never truly solved.
buki
A great account of the relationship between RFK and JFK and the formidable role the former played in the Kennedy White House. The book is full of anecdotes and fabulously depicts the political climate of the 60s.
Kathleen Hagen
Brothers: The Secret History of the Kennedy Years, by David Talbot, Narrated by Mel Foster, Produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from audible.com.

This book focuses totally on the relationship between Jack and Bobby Kennedy, and what can be deduced or known about the reasons either or both of them were assassinated. We see the tensions building in the Kennedy administration as both Kennedys try to head off the cold war, blockading Cuba instead of “frying” her as hard-line cold war folks wante
...more
Rick
I didn’t pay attention to the sub-title. Hidden histories are almost always conspiracy books written by folks who can’t let go of something dear to them, whether it’s the thought that Elvis can’t really be dead or that only a Conspiracy—large C—directly involving the highest reaches of American power could be responsible for a Kennedy's murder. I’m talking CIA. I’m talking FBI. I’m talking the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I’m talking Right Wing Men of Privilege and Wealth, I’m talking the Mafia. I’m t ...more
Rae
A somewhat dry and detailed account of JFK's administration and the aftermath of his assassination--mostly as seen through Robert's eyes. If I don't think about what happened to these two men, then I am satisfied with the politically correct explanations. When I think about what happened, however, I come to the conclusion that we don't have all the answers and that something definitely hinky took place!

From the last chapter: In recent years, the Kennedy legacy has been clouded by a spate of book
...more
Randy
Fascinating stuff. I've read much about JFK and his assassination, this is the first I've read that went into some depth about RFK , his life and assassination. The author was a sympathetic biographer and had access to sources not quoted in other books. It gave a good inside view of John and Bobby's relationships with each other and the world. I was extremely surprised to learn that the official report on the RFK assassination was as flawed and disputed as the JFK event. Specifically, there were ...more
Nathan
May 03, 2008 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gerald Posner's PA.
David Talbot's 'Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years' is a study of the relationship between John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. Specifically, the book focuses on Robert Kennedy's apparently firm belief that his brother was killed as a result of a conspiracy, most likely as direct blowback from the CIA's attempts on Fidel Castro's life. Talbot unearths countless references to both RFK and his aids that suggest RFK was almost fully convinced of a plot. The book also details RFK's ...more
Adrienne LaCava
BROTHERS is now one of my favorite history books of the 1960s. It took me a while to finish, but the subjects are fascinating, and Talbot goes deep. The commitment of service this family embraced made me long to see that kind of inspirational challenge to youth in America today. Readers get behind-the-curtain peeks at Jack and Bobby's relationships, battles, blunders and wins. Plenty of juice. But you also get insightful and thoughtful commentary, and interesting backstory of various players. I ...more
Nida
Read this for my JFK class I took in the fall (I miss college!). A moving book, tells you what happened behind the scenes with the Kennedy administration, the assassinations, and the strong bond between the two brothers. The brothers are remembered in history as remaining firm to their ideals and working as a team at a time where the dark forces within the government (CIA, Joint Chiefs, FBI) and their hawkish world views ruled the country.

This book really made me fall in love with Bobby Kennedy
...more
Nicolas
This book wasn't what I expected it to be... and it took me a long time to figure that out. From what I read of this title before buying it, I assumed it was an account of the JFK assassination through the eyes of Bobby Kennedy. Instead it was basically just a retelling of the Kennedy years. It was well-written and enjoyable, it just wasn't what I was looking for. One of the big questions the book asked was, "Why didn't RFK uses his position and power to solve the JFK assassination?" Instead of ...more
Beverly
This book describes a JFK administration besieged by domestic enemies, from within the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, and the mob. It charts the journey of Robert Kennedy, whose quest to find his brother’s murder led him back to the American power that had been part of his portfolio: U.S. intelligence, Cuba, and organized crime. Interesting book.
Kate
Jun 07, 2009 Kate is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I was 10 years old when JFK was shot. This book pulls me back to the feelings of being 10 and watching adults being sad and confused. I never totally understood the number of people that did not like JFK and RFK. No wonder it is so difficult to prove who shot them. There people in every facet of govt and political front all over the world that had very strong feeling about John and Bobby Kennedy. If you are a conspiracy person, you will be in heaven reading this book. I can't think a person in t ...more
Matt
Founding editor of Salon.com, David Talbot comes from the "I'm gonna write this nonfiction in the breathless and omniscient voice of a great novel!" school of historians, but his end notes tell an amazing story about the level of research and the amount of interviews he conducted with Kennedy family friends.

The middling New York Times' review of this book was written by a poor historical generalist who teaches at Columbia University and to my knowledge has only written about a chapter on the Ke
...more
Greg
I have never been one to worship at the altar of Kennedy majesty, and truth be told, this book was a reminder that JFK and RFK were imperfect humans. That said, each contributed a great deal to the history and progress of our country through his service and passion. I appreciate that Talbot, even as an obvious admirer, was able to include details about Jack and Robert that highlighted their humanity and more specifically, their mistakes. I had hoped to read a bit more about the political history ...more
g c
This is an excellent book, appealing to JFK murder freaks like myself. However, it's well-written and footnoted. Talbot is founder of Salon.com The premise is that Robert Kennedy suspected his brother was murdered in a conspiracy. (answering one of the all-purpose criticisms: 'why didn't his brother, the attorney general know and/or do something?') It's a fact that RFK called the CIA on the day of the assassination and asked the director if they had anything to do with killing his brother. There ...more
Stephanie
This is a well researched and fascinating account of the interplay between JFK/RFK and the U.S. military, CIA, mafia, and militant anti-Castro Cubans. It answers the questions of people like myself who never believed the Warren Commission one shooter theory; who wonder why the RFK assassination was never explained; who wonder about whether there is a relationship between the murders of the Kennedys, Mary Meyers, and possibly Marilyn Monroe and MLK Jr. Talbot explains why it is plausible to conti ...more
Rossana
Amidst all the books written about JFK's murder, this one offers a fascinating and insightful account from the POV of Bobby Kennedy and the Kennedy siblings' band of loyal 'brothers'. The book was a fast read and gave you a glimpse into the lives of the Kennedy brothers as well as their inner circle. Whether or not you believe in the conspiracy theories about what happened in Dallas, it's hard to ignore what has come to light about that day in Dallas and the events that lead up to it. Be prepare ...more
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Brothers 2 18 Oct 18, 2012 08:29PM  
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“After a long discussion of the country's woes, the interviewer asked Bobby, "But you are an optimist?" Kennedy nodded and smiled his weary-eyed smile. "Just because you can't live any other way, can you?" he replied.” 1 likes
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