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Jack Newfield, Looking for the Man in the RFK Myth

jack Newfield's 1969 book, <em>RFK: A Memoir</em> offers a first-hand account of the assassinated politician.
jack Newfield's 1969 book, RFK: A Memoir offers a first-hand account of the assassinated politician.

Journalist Jack Newfield's close work with Robert F. Kennedy during the last year of his life informs Newfield's 1969 book, RFK: A Memoir, which offers a first-hand account of the assassinated politician and attempts to separate the man from myth.

"Part of him was soldier, priest, radical, and football coach. But he was none of these. He was a politician," writes Newfield. "His enemies said he was consumed with selfish ambition, a ruthless opportunist exploiting his brother's legend. But he was too passionate and too vulnerable ever to be the cool and confident operator his brother was."

When it was published, The New York Times reviewer Larry L. King called RFK "a perceptive and moving book" that "brings to Kennedy's personality those shadings, complexities and internal furies that would have made him a great character in fiction."

Newfield, who died of kidney failure in 2004, was a political columnist for The New York Post and the author of 10 books.

This interview was originally broadcast on June 4, 1998.

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