cover image Some of It Was Fun: Working with RFK and LBJ

Some of It Was Fun: Working with RFK and LBJ

Nicholas deB Katzenbach, . . Norton, $27.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-393-06725-5

Katzenbach is perhaps most famous for his role in 1962–1963, as deputy attorney general under Robert F. Kennedy, confronting Mississippi governor Ross Barnett and Alabama governor George Wallace when each was forced to racially integrate their state universities. In this fascinating memoir, Katzenbach gives an invaluable insider's view of life in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, in the latter of which he was attorney general and undersecretary of state. Katzenbach is uniquely positioned to throw light on the personal and political animosities between Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson: an uncomfortable Katzenbach was often forced to become an emissary between the two. At one private White House meeting, Katzenbach has Johnson accusing the antiwar Senator Kennedy of prolonging the war, causing more American deaths: “You have blood on your hands,” Johnson shouted. “I had never seen [Johnson] like this,” Katzenbach writes, “almost totally out of control.... 'I don't have to listen to this, I'm leaving,' ” Kennedy retorted. Such tales as this, never before told, are more than worth the price of admission. Illus. (Oct.)