No issue in America in the 1960s was more vital than civil rights, and no two
public figures were more crucial in the drama of race relations in this era than
Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. Fifty years after they were both
murdered, noted journalist David Margolick explores the untold story of the
complex and ever-evolving relationship between these two American icons.
Assassinated only sixty-two days apart in 1968, King and Kennedy changed the
United States forever, and their deaths profoundly altered the country’s trajectory.
In The Promise and the Dream, Margolick examines their unique bond and the
complicated mix of mutual assistance, impatience, wariness, awkwardness,
antagonism, and admiration that existed between the two, documented with
original interviews, oral histories, FBI files, and previously untapped
At a turning point in social history, MLK and RFK embarked on distinct but
converging paths toward lasting change. Even when they weren’t interacting
directly, they monitored and learned from, one another. Their joint story, a story
each man took some pains to hide and which began to come into focus only with
their murders, is not just gripping history but a window into contemporary America
and the challenges we continue to face.
Complemented by award-winning historian Douglas Brinkley’s foreword and more
than eighty revealing photos by the foremost photojournalists of the period, The
Promise and the Dream offers a compelling look at one of the most consequential
but misunderstood relationships in our nation’s history.
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David Margolick is a long-time contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Prior to that, for fifteen years he was a legal affairs reporter at the New York Times, where he covered the trials of O.J. Simpson and Lorena Bobbitt, among others, and wrote the weekly "At the Bar" column. His work there was nominated four times for the Pulitzer Prize. He has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and the Wall Street Journal’s weekly Review section.
He is the author of many books, including Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns; Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock; Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink; and Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song. He lives in New York City.