• Brothers

  • The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
  • By: David Talbot
  • Narrated by: Mel Foster
  • Length: 20 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (259 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For decades, books about John or Robert Kennedy have woven either a shimmering tale of Camelot gallantry or a tawdry story of runaway ambition and reckless personal behavior. But the real story of the Kennedys in the 1960s has long been submerged - until now. In Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, David Talbot sheds a dramatic new light on the tumultuous inner life of the Kennedy presidency and its stunning aftermath. Talbot, the founder of Salon.com, has written a gripping political history that is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

Brothers begins on the shattering afternoon of November 22, 1963, as a grief-stricken Robert Kennedy urgently demands answers about the assassination of his brother. Bobby’s suspicions immediately focus on the nest of CIA spies, gangsters, and Cuban exiles that had long been plotting a violent regime change in Cuba. The Kennedys had struggled to control this swamp of anti-Castro intrigue based in southern Florida, but with little success.

Brothers then shifts back in time, revealing the shadowy conflicts that tore apart the Kennedy administration, pitting the young president and his even younger brother against their own national security apparatus. The Kennedy brothers and a small circle of their most trusted advisors - men like Theodore Sorensen, Robert McNamara, and Kenneth O’Donnell, who were so close the Kennedys regarded them as family - repeatedly thwarted Washington’s warrior caste. These hardline generals and spymasters were hell-bent on a showdown with the Communist foe - in Berlin, Laos, Vietnam, and especially Cuba. But the Kennedys continually frustrated their militaristic ambitions, pushing instead for a peaceful resolution to the Cold War. The tensions within the Kennedy administration were heading for an explosive climax, when a burst of gunfire in a sunny Dallas plaza terminated John F. Kennedy’s presidency.

Based on interviews with more than 150 people - including many of the Kennedys’ aging “band of brothers,” whose testimony here might be their final word on this epic political story - as well as newly released government documents, Brothers reveals the compelling, untold story of the Kennedy years, including JFK’s heroic efforts to keep the country out of a cataclysmic war and Bobby Kennedy’s secret quest to solve his beloved brother’s murder. Bobby’s subterranean search was a dangerous one and led, in part, to his own quest for power in 1968, in a passion-filled campaign that ended with his own murder. As Talbot reveals here, RFK might have been the victim of the same plotters he suspected of killing his brother. This is historical storytelling at its riveting best - meticulously researched and movingly told.

Brothers is a sprawling narrative about the clash of powerful men and the darker side of the Cold War - a tale of tragic grandeur that is certain to change our understanding of the relentlessly fascinating Kennedy saga.

©2007 David Talbot (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Brothers

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very interesting and well written.

narrator had good voice inflections and it had a lot of detail. I feel like it reflects both sides of the political divide.

1 person found this helpful

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"and we call ourselves the Human race"

This is much appreciated a very good read America back then is very ambivalent and angry it seems, it's beyond me how it is the USA that acts small and paranoid Generals and hawks, when communism posed absolutely no threat It is very sad that President Kennedy wasn't allowed to continue the world would be a much better place had he,

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Well researched, fascinating look into Kennedys

This book takes a deep, well researched dive into the Kennedy brothers 1,036 day term in office and how they managed to anger two powerful forces in America: the CIA, and the Mafia. Interviewing people who surrounded the brothers, as well as using well documented information, the author lays out a well thought out argument as to why both of these groups wanted them dead, how America has let itself down by not brining to justice the true killers of these men.
My ONLY complaint about this book was how the reader of the book tried to mimic the Kennedy Massachusetts accent (annoying) and went into a falsetto voice for women (patronizing).

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Great book

The performance was good but a tad annoying when he is faking female voices. Not sure that was totally necessary or effective.

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Narration

The narration of this book is very good. The book is a very thorough examination of the Kennedy Brothers and their assassinations. Highly recommended.

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Good Book

Book was very good. Would have liked some footnotes but good. Maybe one or he better JFK assassination books out there. Was happy the author did not interject too much of his radical Liberalism into it like some of his other books. Overall very happy with this book.

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Great storytelling

I don’t know why I am so interested in the Kennedy’s, being a Canadian woman born in the 70’s. However, I was drawn to learn more about JFK’s presidency and his death. This led me to this book, which satisfied many of my lingering questions. I found many of the quotes from both JFK and Bobby quite compelling. Thank you Mr. Talbot.

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The Defenitive JFK Assasination Book

The ultimate inside story of the events leading up to the JFK assassination and its aftermath. Reveals that RFK believed that there was indeed a conspiracy to murder his brother. David Talbot interviewed many people who had never come forward before to expose that Bobby planned to reopen the investigation once he himself became President but was murdered before he could do so. A mind-boggling indictment of the government, media, and the establishment in the latter stage of the twentieth century.

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Great book

One of the best books on the Kennedy assassinations. Narrator did a great job.

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interesting book about the Kennedy brothers lives.

This book covers both death of John and Robert Kennedy and all the associated mystery behind them.

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  • Mr T Kearney
  • 03-11-22

Interesting insight into a tragic family dynamic.

I enjoyed this title. It was interesting, but very long and a good listen. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Barnard
  • 07-19-20

Great book and the author is right, its relevant today.

It reads and flows well, another enlightening book which shines a spotlight on some of America’s darkest moments. The whole of the 60’s read like a greek tragedy with love, hope, idealism, tragedy, treachery and malevolence. They are all human characteristics that we must face on some level.
The book is highly recommended, along with James Douglass ‘The Unspeakable’.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Boo Boo
  • 09-12-18

Interesting History and Speculation

This is an interesting book and well worth a listen for those interested in the Kennedys or the period.

I do feel it was let down a little by the narrator who, though OK, was a little unmodulated for me and did not give enough variation in his reading. I also found his reproduction of the accents of JFK and RFK to verge into the imitative and irritating.

My main take from the book (probably unintentionally on the author's part) was that JFK was quite a vacillator and this might explain why he did not achieve all that much (legislatively) during his presidency.

I would buy another of this author's books and I see Audible have a copy of one concerning Allen Dulles and the CIA.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dazler
  • 03-09-13

Marvellous

A real joy, very detailed and informative but never dull. Marvellous and highly recommended.



I was initially going to give this book five stars but then realised Marilyn Monroe was not mentioned at all, which seemed a very strange omission because surely she was at least a small part of The Kennedy years at The White House.

1 person found this helpful