The Last Campaign
The Last Campaign: 82 Days That Inspired America is an inside examination of Bobby Kennedy's fateful 1968 campaign. It describes in detail behind-the-scenes happenings of the 1968 Presidential race, through the eyes of people involved, that turned Bobby Kennedy into America's last hope. His was a campaign waged against poverty, not boasting of failed business dealings; of trying to heal racial divides in a time of riots as opposed to exploiting them to make a dollar; of trying to end a war instead of seeing who was the biggest hawk. His speeches on the campaign trail could be spoken today with relevancy and marks a stark contrast to the path America was on and what it has chosen to follow since.
If you wish to see how far America has veered from that path then you have to go no further than the opening of this book, with its description of the two million people who lined the rail tracks from NYC to D.C. to pay respect to Bobby Kennedy's funeral train and the aspirations they possessed. People blame the system, the establishment for what has happened in the decades following. I don't. I blame the people for low expectations and the unwillingness, as they did in Kennedy's time, to struggle for better.
This is a well-written account that gives you one of the best glimpses of Kennedy the man that you will come across. It is easy to see how people became loyal to him during these 82 days. The impact of his loss is also revealed in the words of those who worked with him. This was a campaign in a time even more turbulent than now and people invested themselves in it and the man in an effort to make our humanity the core of our existence.
This book is an easy and compelling read that sheds light on both the times and the man. I definitely give this a 5 by 5 on the rating scale.