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The Kennedys: An American Drama [Paperback]

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Item Number 282372  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   522
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 6" Height: 8.75"
Weight:   1.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2001
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1893554317  
EAN  9781893554313  


Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of May 26, 2017 08:56.
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Item Description...
Overview
The Kennedys may well be the most photographed, written about, talked about, admired, hated, and controversial family in American history. But for all the words and pictures, the real story was not told until Peter Collier and David Horowitz spent years researching archives and interviewing both family members and hundreds of people close to the Kennedys. An immediate classic, The Kennedys combines intimate knowledge with a perspective free of obligations to family loyalties and myths, bringing the story of four generations of "America's family" fully into view. Collier and Horowitz capture the strain of ambition; the dynastic ebb and flow; the invention of a mythic identity; the corrosive underside of the dream of Camelot-developed over four generations-that led one young Kennedy to say, "We broke the rules and in turn we were broken by them." The Kennedys: An American Drama is a fascinating and brilliantly comprehensive history that brings together, for the first time, all the complex strains of the story of the Kennedys' rise and fall. The authors have added new material showing the effect of the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., and the other family tragedies of the last few years, on the Kennedys and their mythic role in American life.

Publishers Description
The Kennedys may well be the most photographed, written about, talked about, admired, hated, and controversial family in American history. But for all the words and pictures, the real story was not told until Peter Collier and David Horowitz spent years researching archives and interviewing both family members and hundreds of people close to the Kennedys. An immediate classic, "The Kennedys" combines intimate knowledge with a perspective free of obligations to family loyalties and myths, bringing the story of four generations of "America's family" fully into view. Collier and Horowitz capture the strain of ambition; the dynastic ebb and flow; the invention of a mythic identity; the corrosive underside of the dream of Camelot--developed over four generations--that led one young Kennedy to say, "We broke the rules and in turn we were broken by them." "The Kennedys: An American Drama" is a fascinating and brilliantly comprehensive history that brings together, for the first time, all the complex strains of the story of the Kennedys' rise and fall. The authors have added new material showing the effect of the death of John F. Kennedy Jr., and the other family tragedies of the last few years, on the Kennedys and their mythic role in American life.


Buy The Kennedys: An American Drama by Peter Collier, David Horowitz, Jessie Ruffenach, Berlyn Yazzie, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Chris Wilbert, Laurence Trueman & Kevin Nowlan from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781893554313 & 1893554317

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More About Peter Collier, David Horowitz, Jessie Ruffenach, Berlyn Yazzie, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Chris Wilbert, Laurence Trueman & Kevin Nowlan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Peter Collier is the author, along with David Horowitz, of "The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty, The Kennedys: An American Dream, The Fords: An American Epic," and "Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties." He also wrote "Downriver: A Novel" and "The Fondas: A Hollywood Dynasty." He lives in Nevada City, California.

Peter Collier was born in 1942.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Interesting only because the Kennedy drama is self sustaining  Jun 26, 2008
I was pretty disappointed. I have read a lot on individual Kennedys, and was looking for something to tie them all together. This book is very surface level, and practically ignores the women in the family. I know it is more interesting to cover the successful politicians (all male at the time of first publishing in 1984) and the drug abusers (apparently also all male, but still not sure), but a word or two about some of the other Kennedys would have been nice. For example, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the special olympics, gets only passing mention. All in all an interesting read, but mostly because the family (faults and successes) is so compelling, not because of the writing.
 
Will give you both the good and the bad about the Kennedy family  Feb 25, 2008
Heard the taped version of THE KENNEDYS: AN AMERICAN
DREAM by Peter Collier and David Horowitz.

This was a controversial NEW YORK TIMES bestseller when
it was published in 1984, and I can see why . . . it tells the
story of a dysfunctional family over three generations, centering
around the elder Joseph Kenney and his wife Rose Fitzgerald . . . it then
moves on to tell how his sons Jack and Bobby moved into the
limelight via their careers in elected politics . . . and the book
concludes with an account of Teddy's troubles, as well as those
of the younger Kennedy children.

Along the way there was adultery, drug usage (particularly by
Jack during his presidency), alcoholism, and a variety of characters
who mostly come across as not very lovable . . . perhaps only Lem
Billings, JFK's best friend and subsequent family advisor, comes
across in any sort of favorable light.

My main criticism of THE KENNEDYS had to do with the last
part . . . many of the younger Kennedys were portrayed in a negative
fashion and though they may have had their difficulties while in
school, several settled down and went on to careers in public
service . . . consequently, I could have done without some
of the dirt that seems to have been found.

Yet that is probably what gives this book its appeal, so I'd
recommend it if you want both the good and the bad about the
Kennedy family . . . in addition, the narration by Joseph
Campanella was outstanding and added to my enjoyment
of listening to this tale about a dynasty that had to face
so much tragedy over the years.

 
The Kennedys: An American Drama  Aug 17, 2007
I read this book in 1984 and found it quite relevant and enlightening at the time. I am glad that the third generation has gotten itself together and are doing good things.

I have also notice that any books written after Jackie's death have a wealth of information! President Kennedy is a real person (not some far off statesman). Jackie's plus and minuses are explored and she becomes human too! The way she raised Caroline and John was amazing and they seemed to have avoided any of the pitfalls of their other cousins. Except the most devastating one of course and that was will always be a great tragedy of a young life unfinished.

Another excellent book written at the same time is Doris Goodwin's: The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga. John B. Davis, Jackie's first cousin has written serveral books on Jackie, Kennedy's and the Mafia. You will not be disappointed.
 
Critically fair portrayal of the elder Kennedys  May 18, 2005
Well written and engaging, the book surveys three generations of Kennedys over four sections, beginning with how Joseph Patrick Kennedy shaped his family and gave his sons a calling (Architect of Their Lives) then moves on to how his sons Jack and Bobby developed their public careers following Joe, Jr.'s death in WWII (The Stand In) then moving to the peak Kennedy years of Jack's Presidency and Bobby's campaign (Brothers Within). The drama ends as both a sad farce describing Teddy's troubles and as a tragedy invading the lives of the lost generation of Kennedy children (The Lost Boys).

The book centers, as did the family, around the elder Joseph Kennedy and his wife, the queenly Rose Fitzgerald. JPK's generosity and his sincerity surprise the reader given his raw ambition, his selfishness, his manipulation of people, his womanizing, and his incompetence as a diplomat. All this was equaled only by his talent as a business man and in the end surpassed by his devotion as a father. On the other hand, Rose comes off rather dry and unappealing, which is a little difficult to believe given that she had nine children.

A disturbing revelation of the book was how high on drugs (usually prescribed) Jack was during his presidency. His awful health mandated pain killers and other drug therapies to allow him to function, but at the same time must have affected his judgment and his ability to work. Given the confrontational character of the Kennedys, one shudders to think of how badly the Cuban crisis could have turned out.

I have two strong criticism of the book. First, not enough space is given to JPK's most important contribution to the United States: he created and established the Securities and Exchange Commission, which gave the USA for decades a virtual monopoly on fair and transparent financial markets. (President Roosevelt apparently responded to critics of this appointment that "it takes a crook to catch a crook".)

Second, in the interest of protecting privacy, the material on the last Kennedy generation should have been left out. The book was published in 1984 when the lost Kennedys were still in their teens and twenties. The authors needlessly (though with sympathy) sensationalized sad stories, at too early a time in those lives to pass any sort of critical judgment.

The most interesting discovery for me was Lem Billings. He basically followed all three generations: best friend to Jack Kennedy, reassuring JPK that his son had someone supporting him outside the family, and surrogate father to some of the young Kennedys after Bobby's assassination until his death in the early 80s. A short book on Billings would be welcome.

 
The Tragedy of the name Kennedy  Apr 8, 2005
One of the first things you will see are family-trees at the beginning of every part, where you can see all the members of the family, their children and their birth- and deathdates. Unfortunately for the Kennedy family many died prematurely, as is well recognized.

Most Kennedy books will be focused on John F and his brother Robert F who were both shot. But in this book they still play main parts, but not the only ones. The book starts when the Kennedy's, and Fitzgeralds, came to America and how they quickly rose in first Boston and later American society, even though they had one big disadvantage; they were Irish.

JFK's grandfather Honey Fitz became mayor of Boston by using the Irish vote. Joe Kennedy Sr. started out selling newspapers but was soon a movie producer, even having an alleged affair with movie star Gloria Swanson, something his sons would later copy with Marylin Monroe of course.

Then came the biggest move in Joe Kennedy's life; he became Ambassador in England under Roosevelt, with whom he had a somewhat strained relationship. He would ever since be referred to as the Ambassador, even in his own family.

Collier and Horowitz make it clear that the Ambassador is the most important member of the Kennedy family and that every child's actions are in some way related to him. The story is sometimes a little TV-movie sentimental, but whould would you do if you lose 4 children when you are still alive. The oldest son Joe dies in a WWII plane crash, his oldest daughter marries but loses her noble husband soon and dies herself in a plane crash a few months later.

And of course there are the deaths of JFK and RFK.

It's certainly not a hagiography telling how great the Kennedy's were. Old Joe Kennedy is sometimes shown as a towering figure who completely dominated his family's life until his stroke. JFK got his last rites twice and was often very sick with pain in his back and Addisson's desease. His medication is mentioned in the book and also are his numorous flings with women in the White House, his own house, even Airforce One. RFK seems to have been the most moral person and I believe the authors feel that way too. They explain his religion, his fight against organized crime and Jimmy Hoffa and also his meetings with minorities all over the world. He seemed to have had the Kennedy promise even more than his brother Jack or later Ted.

The last part of the book is devoted to the next generation who cannot seem to deal with their heritage and often get into trouble, it seems as if everyone in the family is doing drugs, the last Kennedy death in the old edition, even loses his life because of it.

It's a gripping story that sometimes reads like a novel. I think it gave a balanced story of the family with the good but also the bad, which made them even more human. It's a lot clearer now why the family was so loved and hated at the same time.

A must-read for Kennedy-admirer and Kennedy-hater alike.

 

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