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

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 591 pages
10 Reviews
Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy loathed each other. Their antagonism, propelled by clashing personalities, contrasting views, and a deep, abiding animosity, would drive them to a bitterness so deep that even civil conversation was often impossible. Played out against the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s, theirs was a monumental political battle that would shape federal policy, fracture the Democratic party, and have a lasting effect on the politics of our times. Drawing on previously unexamined recordings and documents, as well as memoirs, biographies, and scores of personal interviews, Jeff Shesol weaves the threads of this epic story into a compelling narrative that reflects the impact of LBJ and RFK's tumultuous relationship on politics, civil rights, the war on poverty, and the war in Vietnam. As Publishers Weekly noted, "This is indispensable reading for both experts on the period and newcomers to the history of that decade." "An exhaustive and fascinating history. . . . Shesol's grasp of the era's history is sure, his tale often entertaining, and his research awesome."—Russell Baker, New York Review of Books "Thorough, provocative. . . . The story assumes the dimensions of a great drama played out on a stage too vast to comprehend."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post (1997 Critic's Choice) "This is the most gripping political book of recent years."—Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
  

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Review: Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade

User Review  - Bill Manzi - Goodreads

Having read all of the Caro books on LBJ I was not sure this book would add much of interest. It certainly did, giving a detailed view of the men in the context of their long rivalry and quite frankly ... Read full review

Review: Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade

User Review  - Christopher Saunders - Goodreads

A detailed examination of the personality feud between Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy. Shesol shows the two men at odds almost from their first meeting; Johnson's ambivalence towards a 1960 ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Prelude to a Feud
10
The Affront
41
The Vice President
61
Two Heirs Apparent
88
A Heavy Reckoning
114
Uneasy Alliance
139
The Bobby Problem
176
AllOut Loyalty
305
Shadowboxing
328
Malapropaganda
349
Praising Brutus
370
Later Than We Think
396
RFK vs LBJ
422
Between Myth and Martyrdom
452
Epilogue
465

Get on the JohnsonKennedy Team
211
Little Potshots
233
A Wider War
251
Hawk Dove or Chicken?
277
Notes
477
Bibliography
557
Index
571
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Jeff Shesol is the author of Supreme Power:nbsp;Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court and Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud That Defined a Decade. He was a speechwriter in the Clinton administration and lives in Washington, DC.

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