In the Arena

April 4, 1968

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Forty years ago Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis.

A few hours later, Robert Kennedy delivered this brief speech to an African-American audience in Indianapolis. He spoke without notes, without consulting his aides. He quoted Aeschylus. I can’t listen to it without feeling shivers, fighting back tears, even now.

If you haven’t heard it before, do yourself a favor. If you have heard it before, listen again.

And by the way, an excellent book about Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign will soon be published. It is called The Last Campaign, by Thurston Clark. I recommend it without qualification. It is a book worthy of that splendid, too brief, magical run.

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