Robert F. Kennedy is often remembered as a liberal icon who worked to heal racial strife, decrease poverty and end the war in Vietnam. But early in his career, biographer Larry Tye notes, Kennedy was a hard-edged anti-communist who worked for red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy, authorized the wiretapping of Martin Luther King Jr. and supported American intervention in Vietnam. Tye chronicles Kennedy's transformation.
The act, among other things, ended the era of legal segregation in public accommodations, like restaurants and hotels. This year marks the 50th anniversary of its passage. Author Todd Purdum joins Fresh Air to talk about the legislative and political battles that surrounded it.
The fourth volume in Robert Caro's monumental biography of Lyndon Johnson is The Passage of Power; it explores the period between 1958 and 1964 during which Johnson went from powerful Senate majority leader to powerless vice president to — suddenly — president of the United States.
When the candidate was assassinated 40 years ago, Hamill was there: He was Kennedy's friend and had helped persuade him to run for president. A journalist and author, Hamill covered the story for The Village Voice.
Journalist and historian Burton Hersh has followed the Kennedy family for more than 35 years. His latest book is a study of the behind-the-scenes power struggles among the Kennedys and longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
Hersh writes that as attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy did his best to keep Hoover — technically his subordinate — on a short leash. But knowledge of Kennedy family secrets gave Hoover, always a master manipulator, the upper hand.
Maxwell Taylor Kennedy is the youngest son of Robert F. Kennedy. He has edited a new collection of his father's private journal entries called "Make Gentle The Life of this World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy." (Harcourt Brace) Max Kennedy, as he is called, has written stories for the Santa Monica News, and for the magazines Doubletake and Conde Nast Traveler. He also served as a prosecutor in Philadelphia. He lives in Boston.
Jack Newfield wrote the highly acclaimed 1969 book "Robert Kennedy: A Memoir by Jack Newfield." (Dutton) This Sunday, The Discovery Channel will air a 3-hour documentary co-produced by Newfield. The series is based on his book.
TV critic David Bianculli previews "Marilyn and Bobby: Her Final Affair," a USA cable network telemovie airing tonight. Bianculli says the show mixes fact and fiction while telling the story of the alleged romance between Marilyn Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy.
Veteran football player Rosey Grier never imagined a life in sports, but his imposing figure helped him distinguish himself in the NFL. Later in life, he worked as a bodyguard for Bobby Kennedy, and was present when the presidential candidate was assassinated.
Harris Wofford was Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy for Civil Rights, the Assistant Director of the Peace Corps, a lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., and president of Bryn Mawr University. He currently practices law in Philadelphia. His new book is "Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties." He joins the show to discuss the leadership styles of three SIxties' figures: John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.