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Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Shaped a Decade

by Shesol, Jeff

  • ISBN: 9780393040784
  • ISBN10: 039304078X

Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Shaped a Decade

by Shesol, Jeff

  • List Price: $32.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Publish date: 02/01/2007
  • ISBN: 9780393040784
  • ISBN10: 039304078X
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Description: A fascinating portrait of two giants of twentieth-century politics locked in a conflict that defined their era.

Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy loathed each other. Politics, of course, is full of heated rivalry, and the nature of the game is more often defined by power and personality than by ideas. But the animosity between these two was of a different order, marked by a bitterness so acute and abiding that they could barely speak in each other's presence.

After the death of John Kennedy, they were the dominant political personalities of the 1960s. Each spent the decade listening for footsteps, looking over his shoulder, making few important decisions without first considering the feud. Their antagonism spawned political turf battles across the United States, and it captivated the newly powerful media, which portrayed their every disagreement as part of a deliberate battle to claim the legacy of the fallen president.

Memoirs, biographies, previously unexamined documents, and scores of interviews have provided threads of this story, and Jeff Shesol weaves them into a gripping and coherent narrative that reflects the profound impact of this relationship on politics, civil rights, the war in Vietnam, and the war on poverty. Like a Greek tragedy played out on a nation's center stage, this book provides a prism through which to view two men, their times, and the nature of power.
-- "Our President (JFK) was a gentleman and a human being; this man is not.... He's mean, bitter, vicious -- an animal in many ways". -- Robert F. Kennedy, 1964
-- "Johnson and Kennedy's battle is the white noise in the background, the political education of their successors in the White House andCongress. It is a textbook on the impact of personality on politics. It is great reading, and great history". -- from the Introduction

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