THE RACE FOR THE EIGHTH: The Making of a Congressional Campaign: Joe Kennedy's Successful Pursuit of a Political Legacy by Gerald & Michael Kenney Sullivan

THE RACE FOR THE EIGHTH: The Making of a Congressional Campaign: Joe Kennedy's Successful Pursuit of a Political Legacy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Robert F. Kennedy's son Joe enters politics, succeeding Tip O'Neill and carrying forward the Kennedy name--in this camp-followers' perspective of the 1986 Democratic primary campaign for Massachusett's Eighth Congressional District representative. Sullivan and Kenney note the lack of ""a good description of a typical primary contest,"" but what they describe is atypical, The Kennedy family's wealth and political prominence, combined with the district's unusual characteristics, guaranteed the out-of-the-ordinary. This book documents one of the most expensive primary campaigns in history, with over $3.8 million spent by the 11 candidates. Joe Kennedy alone spent over $1.5 million, nearly three times as much as George Bachrach, his closest challenger in a race in one of the most liberal districts in the nation, where one of every seven adults has at least one year of graduate studies and where the voters rejected Reagan in 1984 by two-to-one. The facts and figures are presented in easily digested doses as the story moves toward Joe's victory. There are glimpses of all those involved in the contest and broader sketches of George Bachrach, James Roosevelt (FDR's grandson), Mel King, and the other contenders. One wishes, however, for more probing behind the scenes and for the faces and voices of the electorate. A ""skimming-stone"" stow, only occasionally dipping below the surface; but of interest to the politically inclined.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Harper & Row