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All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Tour of Appalachia by Matthew Algeo

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Four months before he was murdered, in February, 1968, Bobby Kennedy toured Eastern Kentucky for two days. He stopped at one-room schools in Wolfe County and Breathitt County, in an African-American neighborhood in Hazard, at strip mine in Perry County, and at Alice Lloyd College in Knott County during the first day. The second day he gave a brief talk on the steps of the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg, convened a hearing in Neon, visited three families between there and Prestonsburg where he gave another short talk on the Floyd County Courthouse steps. “All this marvelous potential” is what he told his audiences he saw in Eastern Kentucky on this trip. For this book, the author, Matthew Algeo, sought out those who interacted with Kennedy on the trip, so the book in many respects is a compilation of the ways that grass-roots people recall what happened on the tour and what has happened since as well as the contrasts between Kennedy and other politicians. “I’ve been waiting thirty-five years, since I was a young reporter at the Courier-Journal in Louisville, for someone to do justice to Bobby Kennedy’s milepost trip across eastern Kentucky. Matthew Algeo’s new book makes it worth that wait.” Larry Tye. "a concise historical analysis through which stories of Appalachia's coal country, and its residents' poverty, make clear the challenges of the past and the legacies that shaped a more hopeful future."— Foreword Review. The author, Matthew Algeo, is a reporter for National Public Radio. This is his fourth book.

Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2020. 264 pages with an Index, Sources, and lots of photos. Hardback in dust jacket.