Portrait of a Changed Man
- Miller Hawkins
A political science major and former Starr Center fellow has developed his senior thesis project into an acclaimed biography of Robert Kennedy.
Veteran freelance political reporter, historian, and TV news producer Jack Bohrer ’06 published his first book this spring, and the advance reviews could not be more enthusiastic.
Matt Bai, one of the country’s finest political pundits, declared The Revolution of Robert Kennedy: From Power to Protest after JFK “fast-paced and full of new detail” and said it “signals the arrival of an unusually gifted writer and historian.” Publisher’s Weekly pronounced it “well-written and well-documented” and Kirkus Reviews described it as a “poignant sketch of a lost champion of social justice from an age when it could still be said that ‘politics is still the greatest and most honorable adventure.’”
Published in early June by Bloomsbury Press, The Revolution of Robert Kennedy is the story of three critical years in the life of a national icon—the years just after his brother John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Bohrer argues that Bobby Kennedy—a less than charismatic attorney general and JFK’s reputed hatchet man—was transformed by the events of 1963 and their aftermath, and that he emerged from that crucible the champion of the dispossessed who captured our collective imagination.
The Revolution of Robert Kennedy has been more than a decade in the making. A political science major who was one of the first student fellows at the College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, Bohrer began it as the senior thesis he penned in the Custom House attic. He has spent countless hours since in libraries and archives culling new material, a habit inspired by his mentor Adam Goodheart, the bestselling historian and Starr Center director who has inspired and instructed a generation of students in the art of original research.
Bohrer has returned frequently to Chestertown to speak and to mentor students. He helped develop a Starr Center series on electoral politics in 2012, moderating a panel of top political reporters, including Jonathan Martin, who now writes for The New York Times, and Betsy Fischer Martin, who at the time was executive producer of Meet the Press.
Remarkably, Bohrer labored on The Revolution of Robert Kennedy while working as an overnight producer for MSNBC’s popular Morning Joe, and writing about politics for The New Republic, Salon, Politico, and other publications. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend, Teresa Gianotti, and their cat, Tux.