All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy's 1968 Tour of Appalachia

All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy's 1968 Tour of Appalachia

by Matthew Algeo

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Overview

In early 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy ventured deep into the heart of eastern Kentucky to gauge the progress of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Kennedy, already considering challenging Johnson for the Democratic presidential nomination, viewed his two days in Kentucky as an opportunity to test his antiwar and antipoverty message with hardscrabble white voters. Among the strip mines, one-room schoolhouses, and dilapidated homes, however, Kennedy encountered a strong mistrust and intense resentment of establishment politicians.  

In All This Marvelous Potential, author Matthew Algeo meticulously retraces RFK’s tour of eastern Kentucky, visiting the places he visited and meeting with the people he met. Algeo explains how and why the region has changed since 1968, and why it matters for the rest of the country. The similarities between then and now are astonishing: divisive politics, racial strife, economic uncertainty, and environmental alarm.  This book provides a new portrait of Robert Kennedy, a politician who, for all his faults, had the uncommon courage to stand up to a president from his own party and shine a light on America’s shortcomings

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641600590
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/03/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 199,401
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Matthew Algeo is the author of Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure, The President Is a Sick Man, and Abe & Fido. An award-winning journalist, Algeo has reported from four continents for public radio’s All Things Considered, Marketplace, and Morning Edition.

Table of Contents

Itinerary Robert F. Kennedy's xi

Introduction xiii

Part I Before the Trip

1 Night 3

2 Dysgenics 9

3 Replace Their Despair 12

4 Tom Fletcher 17

5 An Article in Life 20

6 Poverty Obsessed 26

7 A Pioneer in Opposition Research 30

Part II Tuesday, February 13, 1968

8 1:00 PM-Vortex 37

9 Swango Fugate 41

10 Black and Proud 49

11 Reverend Connie 53

12 Just Pee in This Jug 60

13 Sedition 69

14 2:30 PM-Barwick 77

15 Three Licks and a Smile 80

16 3:30 PM-Hazard 87

17 5:00 PM-Yellow Creek, a Guy Who Wore Horns 91

18 Hell, I'll Handle This 94

19 A Prairie in the Mountains 101

20 The Globe Woman 107

21 7:00 PM-Pippa Passes, Reverend Baldridge 112

22 The Deepening Swamp 120

23 "Ulysses" 125

24 Campaign '68 129

25 Lurleen 132

Part III Wednesday, February 14, 1968

26 8:00 AM-Whitesburg 143

27 A Winter Tan 147

28 To Cure Poverty 151

29 10:00 AM-Neon, Waiting for Kennedy 161

30 Nell 164

31 Make Yourselves Comfortable 167

32 A Worm in a Miniskirt 169

33 The AVs 175

34 The Cloverfork Newsletter 181

35 The Average Homosexual 188

36 Paper Bags 191

37 The War on Welfare Queens 197

38 Dave Zegeer 200

39 The Zegeer Files 204

40 All the Girls 209

41 4:00 PM-Prestonsburg 212

42 From the Kentucky Coal Mines 215

43 … to the California Sun 220

Part IV After the Trip

44 Another Thing I Wish to Comment on Is Your Long Hair 229

45 I Knew Something Was Wrong 234

46 Cote's Cemetery 238

Acknowledgments 241

Sources 243

Index 253

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