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Larry Tye is a medical writer at The Boston Globe where he has won numerous awards for his work. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and is the author of The Father of Spin, a biography of public relations pioneer Edward L. Bernays. His latest biography is called Satchel: The Life and näytä lisää Times of an American Legend. (Publisher Provided) näytä vähemmän

Sisältää nimen: Larry Tye

Image credit: By Photographer: Subject's wife, who prefers to go nameless / copyright holder: Larry Tye - Larry Tye, email, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20718960

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Clearly well researched, this book provides a great coverage of the real world history of the Man of Steel. From his creation by Siegel and Shuster, to the rise/fall in publishing numbers, to the legal dramas that have unfolded around his rights/payments, Tye does a great job conveying the history of the CHARACTER of Superman, not so much the "in-universe" lore. Nor does he really dive into the symbolism/ideology of Superman - Tye tells us Superman has inspired people for generations, but never really talks about why.

Truthfully, Superman is my favorite superhero, so I was going to finish this book no matter what. But getting through this book could be a slog. While the narrative of the character is laid out mostly in a chronological manner, there's still some skipping around within eras that can make it hard to follow. Plus, as mentioned, I found the book lacking in its discussion of why people have felt so drawn to the character and was not as interested in the real world history. Was still great to learn things that were new to me, and the book backs up all of the information it provides - just wish it had caught a bit more of the magic that comes from Superman inside the pages of a comic book in the first place.
… (lisätietoja)
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nova_mjohnson | 23 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 22, 2024 |
The Father of Spin. Eddie Bernays own description and one that he worked hard to ensure enduring.
This is a biography in which I can believe. Larry Tye's Bernays is a complex man. At times, it seems that he'd do anything for money and power; at others, he gives his time and skills to worthy causes. The danger, of course, with the idea of a powerful person giving their support to a cause is that they decide upon the cause.

Bernays worked against the Nazis, at a time when there was considerable sympathy amongst the wealthy BUT, he was equally proud to assist the US government in destroying Guatemala's elected leadership in the name of democracy! He worked for the American Heart Foundation, but came up with the 'Torches of Freedom' campaign to get women smoking.… (lisätietoja)
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the.ken.petersen | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 25, 2023 |
During his life he was seen as the ruthless politico that guided his brother to the White House after his death he was viewed as the man who could have changed America in 1968. Bobby Kennedy: Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye looks at the complicated life of the hardnosed campaign manager, young Attorney General, Senator, and slain Presidential aspirant.

Using a variety of historical resources and first-hand interviews, Tye brings the real Bobby Kennedy into focus from his cold warrior conservative days working for Joe McCarthy to his 1968 Presidential campaign that made him an icon to liberals only after his death. Given the numerous roles in government and politics Kennedy filled in almost two decades and the issues in the 1950s and 60s, Tye wrote a hybrid chronological-topical biography so during Kennedy’s time as Attorney General three different chapters were dedicated to being Attorney General, Civil Rights, and then essentially being his brother’s deputy president. Tye doesn’t shy away from exposing Kennedy’s flaws, long-held grudges, and major fibs—the Cuban Missile Crisis—but also give credit to Kennedy for changing his views and attitudes. Kennedy’s place within his family from runt of the litter third son to becoming the patriarch after his father’s stroke even with his brother still alive is an interesting dynamic that the reader see’s take shape through Tye’s writing.

Bobby Kennedy is an engagingly written biography that shows the full range of the life led by the third son of Joe and Rose Kennedy.
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mattries37315 | 8 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 27, 2022 |
An excellent story. I felt that it deserved a summing-up in conclusion, though, and Tye doesn't attempt one.

> He lived in fear as well as awe of his dad, too. In summers, when everyone was on hand, Joe expected the children in the dining room five minutes before mealtime. It was a rule so strictly enforced that Kennedys were known to abandon whatever boat they were on and swim for their lives so as not to break it. Rose and Joe drilled into their offspring the importance of knowing what was happening in the world by quizzing them at mealtime, and they fine-tuned everyone’s language skills by insisting that only Spanish or French be spoken on specified evenings at the dinner table. Rose oversaw weigh-ins every Saturday to determine who needed calories added or subtracted over the next week. Yet even as their life in Hyannis Port was governed by stricture, what the children remembered more were the parlor games and athletic contests

> It was more a tribute to Bobby’s fortitude than his skill on the football field, since he’d broken his leg in practice early in the season. But the coach was impressed with how he’d continued playing until he literally fell down. So, in the season-ending Harvard-Yale game, Bobby was sent in—cast and all—for just long enough to qualify for the cherished crimson-and-white H signaling that he had played for a varsity team

> Bobby knew his father admired McCarthy, and he saw the senator as a reflection of much that he loved in his dad. By working for a tough-minded jingoist like McCarthy, Bobby hoped he could erase the public’s lingering memory of Joe Kennedy as a Nazi apologist and even, as many British had believed him to be, a coward.

> Bobby jumped. His bosses this time were the Democrats—McClellan, Symington, and Jackson—who a month before had rejoined the panel with a promise from McCarthy that they could hire their own lawyer and play a bigger role in decision making. For McCarthy, the new arrangement ensured that the Senate would give him funds he wanted in order to expand his probes into Communist infiltration of the government. For Bobby, the new job meant a chance to joust again with his bête noire, Roy Cohn, this time from a near-equal position on the other side of the partisan aisle. The Democrats came back just as McCarthy was raising the stakes in his battle against Communism by challenging the sanctity of the U.S. Army

> The battle with Hoffa would define Bobby in much the same way that Richard Nixon’s career was kicked into gear when, as a young congressman, he chaired high-profile hearings on the accused Soviet spy Alger Hiss that helped catapult him into the Senate, then the vice presidency, and ultimately the Oval Office. … Ironically, all that probing helped Jimmy Hoffa capture nearly 75 percent of the votes in 1957 when he ran for president of the Teamsters. Bobby and his investigators had brought down the incumbent, Dave Beck, who in the wake of his humiliation by the committee declined to seek reelection and eventually went to jail. … Bobby Kennedy made Jimmy Hoffa into such a hero to America’s 1.5 million Teamsters that if it had been within their power, they would have crowned him president for life. Asked how he felt about boosting the career of the man he had tried to bring down, Bobby admitted to a reporter that he had let down the public and “I have a debt to society.”

> said he uncovered evidence that the Kennedy campaign went several steps further—paying $16,000 to an informant ($128,000 in today’s dollars), accepting documents that were pilfered or burgled, then slipping the incriminating paperwork to the press. In his post-Watergate memoir, Nixon, who had been pinned with the nickname Tricky Dick as far back as 1950, called Bobby and his brethren “the most ruthless group of political operators ever mobilized for a presidential campaign….I vowed that I would never again enter an election at a disadvantage by being vulnerable to them—or anyone—on the level of political tactics.”

> Arriving at Tempelhof Airport, he declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” a gesture of kinship to the isolated city that his brother would famously echo the following year.

> Early in the campaign Bobby had been reluctant to debate, not wanting to look like a bully beating up on his older (by twenty-six years), more courtly (by every measure) opponent. Keating sought to exploit that refusal. Late in October he bought a half hour of TV time and set up next to him an empty chair to remind viewers of what he called Bobby’s “utter contempt for the voters of New York.” The Kennedy campaign bought its own air time for later that night. But thirty minutes before Keating was due to go on, Bobby told his aides, “I can’t let him debate an empty chair. I’m going down there and sit in that empty chair.” And so he tried, with guards at the TV studio barring his way. No matter, he had turned the tables: Instead of stories about Kennedy ducking out on a debate invitation, TV stations had live footage of Bobby knocking on the studio door, with Keating later fleeing the scene as his aides hurled furniture and fake palm trees in the path of pursuing journalists.

> Told that California had displaced New York as America’s most populous state, “I turned to my wife and I said, ‘What can we do ?’ So I moved to New York, and in just one day I increased the population by ten and a half….My opponent has just sixty days to match that record.” He threw this bone to the tradesmen at the Fulton Market: “I have eight children, and we eat fish every Friday. From now on, we’ll eat fish twice a week. That’s what we’re going to do for the fishing industry of New York.”

> Bobby also embraced contradiction in ways that neither Jack nor Teddy wanted to or could. His realism butted up against his romanticism even as the existentialist in him looked for ways to coexist with the politician. He was half ice, half fire. How, observers wondered, could someone so shy be so intimidating? Was it possible to love both Albert Camus and roughhouse football? “Robert Kennedy’s motto,” said the Village Voice’s Jack Newfield, “could have been, ‘Do not understand me too quickly.’…His most basic characteristics were simple, intense, and in direct conflict with each other. He was constantly at war with himself.”

> the Ripple of Hope Speech. “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation,” Bobby said. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance….Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly. It is this new idealism which is also, I believe, the common heritage of a generation which has learned that while efficiency can lead to the camps at Auschwitz, or the streets of Budapest, only the ideals of humanity and love can climb the hills of the Acropolis.”

> “I shall not seek, and I will not accept,” he said that Sunday evening, “the nomination of my party for another term as your president.” In a single sentence he had changed history and upended the entire logic of the Kennedy campaign. Bobby was now a dragon slayer without a dragon. LBJ’s withdrawal also took the war off the table as an issue when he gave as his reason the desire to devote himself to forging a peace. Johnson’s likely replacement as the candidate of the Democratic establishment, Vice President Humphrey, was someone Bobby liked.

> the Kennedy team did their best to protect him, but Bobby got in the way. He had always been a phobophobe, averse to showing fear. Having a brother gunned down would make most people more cautious, but it made Bobby more fatalistic. “Living every day is like Russian roulette,” he said. “There’s no way of protecting a country-stumping candidate.

> For six weeks in 1955, Bobby and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas tour factories, libraries, and any place they can talk their way into throughout Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and other outposts of Soviet rule.

> Ethel was Bobby’s second self. Her lightness relieved his heaviness and her love was the kind he had craved—without conditions. They even looked alike, from protruding front teeth to thick mops of hair that made them seem like teenagers.
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breic | 8 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 28, 2021 |



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