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Hardcover Make Gentle the Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy Book

ISBN: 0151003564

ISBN13: 9780151003563

Make Gentle the Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

A powerful memoir, compiled by Robert Kennedy's youngest son, contains stirring and compassionate writings recorded in the slain politician's personal journals throughout the 1960s. Reprint. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings


Just got the book in it is a hardcover but since it’s a gift it’s crucial that it comes with a dust cover. Which it did not I’m not sure how to get a refund


Robert Kennedy was one of the most fascinating public figures in recent history. He was clearly an intelligent man and he had the foresight to combine that with hard work and effort. It was only in adult life that he became interested in classical literature and he used this interest to become self-educated. That is one mark of high intelligence and motivation. In reading the quotes that moved and motivated Robert Kennedy, one can see the character development that was taking place during his life during this period. It was late in his life when he publicly admitted that he "did not stay awake nights" worrying about poverty and minorities. Unlike so many public figures of that era, Robert Kennedy personally got involved in these issues and as a result, developed a very wide following. A large part of his appeal lay in his sincerity -- one really got the feeling that he spoke straight from his heart, his gut, his instincts. My mother would say that "Robert Kennedy is a man who cares about people." I became a history major and Robert Kennedy was the subject of my senior project. I read Camus, Tennyson, Sophocles, Plato and other literary figures Robert Kennedy popularized in his speeches. In so doing, I not only gained a greater appreciation of classical literature, I also applied that knowledge to my history paper. Indirectly, Robert Kennedy shaped my academic career -- I have more than a pedestrian knowledge of classical writings. My senior sponsor loved the paper and it remains the thing I am most proud of during my senior year. Robert Kennedy was a realist, a man for everyone and I honestly believe his hard work and awareness of human rights have indeed left indelible stamps for the better in this world. (Just for the record, Douglas H. Kennedy was the Senator's youngest son and not Matthew Maxwell Kennedy, the author).

A Leader from the 60's Speaks to Us Today

As Tennyson said, it is not too late to seek a newer world. In this book Bobby Kennedy's son sets out the quotes, speeches, notes, and words that shaped the journey of Robert F. Kennedy in the late 1960's. A journey to seek a newer world. That journey ended much too soon with Kennedy's assassination in Los Angeles in June 1968. But the efforts he began and the philosophy he followed continue to live today. These words speak to us still about our current lives in America, about what we need to be doing to make a better country, and about how we should view our fellow man. They tell us a lot about ourselves and the many things left undone by Kennedy's untimely death. For those of us who participated in the last campaign of 1968, it is important to us that others hear his message of what America can and should be. This is a book about hope in the midst of despair, about ending violence despite all the violence in our lives, and about so very many things still left undone some 30 years later. It is a message of hope and promise that speaks to everyone today, from a time not so long ago, that we must have courage and always continue to strive to seek a newer world. This book provides insight about what we should do, shows how we can be guided by the past, and it provides words of strength for us to continue on that journey. These are words that motivated Bobby Kennedy, and they will motivate you today.

Robert Kennedy and His Passion for the Greeks and Camus

Maxwell Kennedy gives the reader, and perhaps follower, of Robert Kennedy insight into his father's thinking in this short, but well structured compilation. Not only does the memoir account for the speeches of Kennedy and the impact they continue to have. The reader is also given a rare insight into the quotations Kennedy loved most and the authors and people he admired through their words. It is interesting to see how Robert Kennedy was inspired by other's words and moved by the writing of those in history.I found the book most interesting for what it conveys of Kennedy's admiration for the thoughts of the ancient Greeks and Albert Camus. Maxwell Kennedy has covered various writers and people who have inspired his father, yet it is the Greeks and Camus who share the front seat in this collection. It is obvious in the number of references to each that Robert Kennedy was truly touched by what he read in the Ancient Greeks and Albert Camus.It is a superb book, and especially so for those who are interested in how those in the past have been inspired by others. In the speeches and words of his father that Maxwell Kennedy uses, he reminds us also of just what it was and still is that inspires us about Robert Kennedy.

Cynics, take heed...

In this day and age of politicians afraid to tell it like it is, it was wonderful to read a book by a man who did. For all the media hyped personal travails, Robert Kennedy was still a political figure unlike any we have today. He not only got people involved with politics but got them excited as well. In this age of "dumbing down", he knew that the words of Dante, and Camus, and Aeschylus would not necessarily be recognized but would certainly be understood by the masses. Maxwell Taylor Kennedy is to be commended for bringing to light this side of his father, one that has been largely overlooked in the press. Truly an inspirational book for anyone who wants to believe in our government and our politicians again.


One of my earliest political memories is waking up one morning to turn on the TV, only to see Bobby Kennedy lying in his own blood after his assassination. In the days that followed, I learned more about this charismatic leader who had been struck down at the height of his promise.Since those days, I have been on many political journies, right and left; and one constant has been the challenge of Robert Kennedy to try to make a difference, to not forget the least powerful of our nation, and always, always, strive to do better. Put simply: Robert F. Kennedy is my political hero, the last politician to really try and reach out with conviction to Americans of all colors and classes, but with particular attention to the poor. Bobby's appeal was to the black man trapped in the inner city, the white blue collar worker in Indiana, and to Hispanics laboring in the fields of California. It wasn't just that he evoked his martyred brother -- it was that he, in tending to his brother's flame (as he surely did, cast a retrospective glow of the Kennedy promise that had not hitherto existed; and in so doing, in coping with the pain of the loss of his brother, he created a new RFK as well. It is remarkable that the first time RFK ever referred directly to his brother's murder in public was when he was reaching out to the Black community of Indianapolis after Martin Luther King, Jr. had met a similar fate. You will find that short, beautiful speech in this little book; and if all Americans could read and hear that speech, so stark in its contrast of the two roads that Americans could take in the future of race relations, then we would go a long way towards healing that still-bleeding wound. Bobby Kennedy's message was one of hope. This book is the distillation of the words he read, as well as the words he spoke that conveyed that hope to millions. A bullet ended his life, and with it his campaign for the presidency and all the roads left untaken at that time. But his inspiration remains as long as compassion and hope and courage are valued.
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