Pat Thurston: July 10, 2016

Larry Tye

Author of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

In a poor section of Indianapolis, 48 years ago, a largely black crowd had waited an hour to hear the presidential candidate, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, speak. As his car entered the neighborhood, his police escort left him. Once there, he stood in the back of a flatbed truck. He turned to an aide and asked, “Do they know about Martin Luther King?” They didn’t, and it was left to Kennedy to tell them that King had been shot and killed that night in Memphis, Tenn. The audio of this speech is in this podcast.

“History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was in fact the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misunderstanding to paint a nuanced portrait of this singularly inspiring figure.

Here are his upcoming appearances:

Friday, August 12, 6 p.m.: Talk at California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco.

Sunday, August 14, 3:30 p.m.: Talk at Oakland Public Library, 125 14th Street, Community Room.

Monday, August 15, noon: Talk at Commonwealth Club, Gold/Small Room, 555 Post Street, SF

Tuesday, August 16, 6 p.m.: Talk in Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street,SF

William Perry

William Perry’s appointment as Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the late 1970’s put him at the helm of crafting a defense strategy that would offset the Soviets’ numeric superiority in conventional forces, essential to shoring up and maintaining overall deterrence in a dangerous time.

As Secretary of Defense, Perry galvanized efforts to secure nuclear stockpiles (“loose nukes”) inherited by former Soviet states and presided over the dismantlement of more than 8,000 nuclear weapons.

“My Journey at the Nuclear Brink” is William J. Perry’s latest effort to keep the world safe from a nuclear catastrophe. It tells the story of his coming of age in the nuclear era, his role in trying to shape and contain it, and how his thinking has changed about the threat these weapons pose.

Diana Ross is in the area this week and promoter Rick Bartalini joins Pat to give away two pairs of tickets. There are still tickets left at

John Rothmann drops in to discuss what we may see in the upcoming political conventions.


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