The Last Patrician
Bobby Kennedy and the End of American AristocracyBook - 1998
Like Richard Nixon, Robert F. Kennedy continues to fascinate historians because of his Shakespearean complexity -- his ambivalent flirtation with the left combined with his tough law, anti-government stance that appealed to supporters on the right. In this provocative work, Michael Knox Beran reveals for the first time, the contradictions that distinguished Kennedy's career and his strong influence on democratic politics in the decades that follow.
Challenging the works of both Schlesinger and Halberstam, Beran contends that Kennedy served as the link between two worlds, the dying order of the American aristocracy and a new age of political conservatism. Beran also provides new insights into Kennedy's personal life, forming a haunting portrait of the last great era of American social aristocracy.
Brilliantly written and cogently argued, The Last Patrician is as much an assessment of Kennedy as it is a first-rate work of American political theory, echoing in its analysis the wisdom of commentators such as Richard Hofstadter and Walter Lippman. A virtuosic work by a new writer of immense talent.