One of my earliest political memories is waking up one morning to turn on the TV, only to see Bobby Kennedy lying in his own blood after his assassination. In the days that followed, I learned more about this charismatic leader who had been struck down at the height of his promise.
Since those days, I have been on many political journies, right and left; and one constant has been the challenge of Robert Kennedy to try to make a difference, to not forget the least powerful of our nation, and always, always, strive to do better. Put simply: Robert F. Kennedy is my political hero, the last politician to really try and reach out with conviction to Americans of all colors and classes, but with particular attention to the poor. Bobby's appeal was to the black man trapped in the inner city, the white blue collar worker in Indiana, and to Hispanics laboring in the fields of California. It wasn't just that he evoked his martyred brother -- it was that he, in tending to his brother's flame (as he surely did, cast a retrospective glow of the Kennedy promise that had not hitherto existed; and in so doing, in coping with the pain of the loss of his brother, he created a new RFK as well.
It is remarkable that the first time RFK ever referred directly to his brother's murder in public was when he was reaching out to the Black community of Indianapolis after Martin Luther King, Jr. had met a similar fate. You will find that short, beautiful speech in this little book; and if all Americans could read and hear that speech, so stark in its contrast of the two roads that Americans could take in the future of race relations, then we would go a long way towards healing that still-bleeding wound. Bobby Kennedy's message was one of hope. This book is the distillation of the words he read, as well as the words he spoke that conveyed that hope to millions. A bullet ended his life, and with it his campaign for the presidency and all the roads left untaken at that time. But his inspiration remains as long as compassion and hope and courage are valued.