Excerpt from The Revolution of Robert Kennedy: From Power to Protest After JFK provided courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing. © John R. Bohrer, 2017.
In his darkest moment, Robert Kennedy defined change. “We are a young country,” he wrote on December 18, 1963, four weeks after his brother, the President, was assassinated. “We are growing and expanding until it appears that this planet will no longer contain us. We have problems now that people fifty, even ten years ago, would not have dreamed would have to be faced.”
Bobby was writing the foreword to a memorial edition of John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage—something he would not have dreamed of facing four weeks earlier. In an instant, he had lost his brother, his boss, and his security. The mingling loyalties to family and country had made life before “simple,” he would say. Now it was racked by uncertainty. The presidency belonged to Lyndon Baines Johnson, a man whose morals and judgment he questioned, and whose insatiable appetite for political domination convinced Bobby that the name Kennedy would mean little in a few short months. The attorney general warned friends to act fast and get what they wanted, for their political power would soon expire.