I started reading this book last night and have found it fascinating, as well as disturbing. Family dynamics can be quite over-powering. Aronson writes well. I wonder if his quick reference to Harry Potter will hold over time. He also refers to Knowles' A Separate Peace. Do freshman/sophomores still read that book? Talk about fascinating and disturbing. Let me just say, that I'm glad my parents weren't interested in grooming me to be president of the U.S. and didn't send me to a boarding school.
I look forward to discussing it, but I think that the intended audience is over the age of 14.
I finished the book last night. I believe too much background knowledge of the time period and people is assumed to make this within the realm of the age 14 and younger crowd. I was also disappointed that Aronson didn't share more information about RFK's wife and children.
Along the way I kept wondering if Aronson was sharing his opinion too frequently, but this at the end really struck me.
RFK basically refused to take safety precautions; not that that meant he deserved what happened to him. Aronson calls it "recklessness" and writes on page 184:
"But there's another way to make sense of Bobby's behavior on the campaign. Perhaps he hesitated so long about running because on some deep, basic level he did not feel he was a leader. He was not Joseph, nor Joe Jr., nor Jack. He tried, God how he tried, to be what others needed him to be. He met the crowds, he counted the delegate votes, he gave the speeches, he prepared for the debate. But maybe he knew, in his deepest sense of himself, that he was not up to the task. He whipped up the crowds, urged his followers to see him as their hope, their voice, their hero, while courting the death that would save him from having to lead them. He could organize a winning campaign, but he himself could not be a winner."