The authors of A Twilight Struggle (1992) and research directors for a television documentary about Robert Kennedy proffer a lively, well-substantiated account of their subject's youth, political career, and stubborn idealism. Readers first encounter Kennedy sitting with a child in a ""fetid"" sharecropper's shack; although Kennedy's privileged upbringing, early days in government working for Joseph McCarthy, and brilliant management of his brother's campaigns get their share of attention, Harrison and Terris focus most closely on the birth and growth of his burning concern for children and the poor. The authors sometimes include unanalyzed details, but make their points lucidly--""On the issue of civil rights, Bobby Kennedy was a combination of passion and prudence. That combination made just about everyone mad at him!""--and back them up with citations from a variety of sources. The selection of black-and-white photographs is not generous by current standards, but the portraits, family shots, and crowd scenes are evocative and properly placed. This treatment of Kennedy's life won't quite bring him out of his brother's shadow, but it will give him a distinct shape.