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Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years 

By David Talbot
Free Press, $28

"[S]omebody has something new to say about the Kennedys? I find that hard to believe," a friend replied after I cancelled our drink date due to deadline hour for reviewing David Talbot's Pulitzer Prize-bait, "Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. " It was an understandable response considering all the ink that has already been shed on the Kennedys. But Talbot's manic and near-perfect tale of the Kennedy brothers makes it worth revisiting this familiar moment in U.S. history. Detailing Bobby Kennedy's this-time-it's-personal investigation into his brother's death (up until his own), Talbot makes a case for calling RFK "America's first Assassination Conspiracy theorist." The many snippets and sound bites will stir chin-scratching history buffs and light-fare gossip addicts alike (JFK napping in his underwear with trusted and gay adviser, William Walton, and Harry Truman calling John a "gutless wonder.") Instead of creating yet another conspiracy theory tome, Talbot peels away the political layers of underworld dealings, upper-crust connections, treachery, the Kennedy splendor, and rumor after rumor, and shows us America's Camelot in a brand-new light. —Brock Keeling


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