Events & Author Appearances

Mar
06
All This Marvelous Potential
Meet the Author: Matthew Algeo Matthew Algeo
The Doylestown Bookshop , 16 South Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (map it)
Friday, March 6, 2020 - 5:00pm
Come to the book signing of All This Marvelous Potential, followed by a Q&A with the author, Matthew Algeo. 
related book
All This Marvelous Potential
All This Marvelous Potential ›
By Matthew Algeo
Price 28.99

Cloth

Estimated Release Date Mar 2020

In the winter of 1967–68, Robert F. Kennedy, then a US Senator from New York, ventured deep into the heart of Appalachia on what was dubbed a "poverty tour." He toured a strip mine, visited one-room schoolhouses and dilapidated homes, and held a public hearing in a ramshackle high school gymnasium. As acting chairman of a Senate subcommittee on poverty, RFK went to eastern Kentucky to gauge the progress of the War on Poverty. He was deeply disillusioned by what he found. Kennedy learned that job training programs were useless, welfare programs proved insufficient, and jobs were scarce and getting scarcer. Before he'd even left the state, Kennedy had determined the War on Poverty was a failure—and he blamed Lyndon Johnson.      Robert Kennedy wasn't merely on a fact-finding mission, however; he was considering challenging Johnson for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he needed support from white voters to win it. His trip to eastern Kentucky was an opportunity to test his antiwar and antipoverty message with hardscrabble whites. Kennedy encountered deep resentment in the mountains, and a special disdain for establishment politicians. "We can't eat your fancy promises," read a large banner that greeted Kennedy at one stop. A month after his visit, RFK officially announced he was challenging Johnson for the Democratic nomination. Four months after his visit, he was murdered. He was 42.     All This Marvelous Potential meticulously retraces RFK's tour of eastern Kentucky, visiting the places he visited and meeting with the people he met with. The similarities between then and now are astonishing: vicious, divisive politics; bitter racial strife; economic uncertainty; environmental alarm. Author Matthew Algeo explains how and why the region has changed since Robert Kennedy visited the area in 1968; how and why it hasn't; and why it matters—immensely—for the rest of the country. Kennedy, for all his faults—and there were many—was a politician who gave people hope, and he was unafraid to stand up to a president from his own party.