One book about the Kennedy family that Nasaw discussed with Emma Mustich at FiveBooks:
Robert Kennedy and His TimesRead about another book Nasaw discussed at FiveBooks.
by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Does Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who worked closely with JFK for a significant period, and was an outspoken RFK supporter, manage to navigate the obstacles associated with writing about friends/colleagues with similar deftness in Robert Kennedy and His Times?
I think he does. You know, this is a very different book from A Thousand Days. A Thousand Days is Schlesinger’s big, fat book about the Kennedy administration and his life in it; in that book, he writes from the inside. In Robert Kennedy and His Times, Schlesinger writes from the outside, and he does a remarkable job. You see the brilliance of Schlesinger as a historian that is evident in his books about the New Deal and Roosevelt. You know that Schlesinger worked for Kennedy, and admires him; nonetheless, the advantages of being an insider and trying to write from the outside I think outweigh the disadvantages of reading a book by an insider. With this book. This is rarely the case – but then, rarely do historians come along as talented as Schlesinger was.
Is this the best work on Robert Kennedy that there is?
Yes, I think so. You know, Schlesinger himself always said that history is written to be re-written. If you ask me to do this ten years from now, and I’m still around, I doubt very much that I will choose this book as the best one. But right now, it’s a rather remarkable book.
Also see: Thurston Clarke's five best books about John F. Kennedy.
The Page 69 Test: David Nasaw's Andrew Carnegie.