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After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family - 1968 to the Present Hardcover – April 24, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Meticulous multilayered details breathe life into remarkable recreations of family gatherings throughout this superb "fly on the wall" survey of the Camelot clan."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

About the Author

J. Randy Taraborrelli is a respected journalist, a recognizable entertainment personality, and in-demand guest on many television programs including Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN Headline News. He is the bestselling author of thirteen books.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446553905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446553902
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alla S. VINE VOICE on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"After Camelot" by J. Randy Taraborrelli is an all-inclusive chronology of the future of the Kennedy dynasty following the assassinations of JFK and RFK. The lengthy an detailed tome is divided into the following parts: Jackie, Eunice, Sarge, Ted, Ethel, Jackie/Ari/The Lawfords, Sargent Tries Again, The Third Generation In Trouble, Poor Ari, Rosemary and Rose, Shriver for President, Ted's 1980 campaign, David's Story, Kennedy Upheaval, Caroline/John/Maurice, William Kennedy Smith and the Palm Beach Scandal, Kennedy Wives Old and New, Jackie: Her Final Years, John and Carolyn, Michael's Story, A Peaceful Time, Camelot Loses its Prince, Transitions, and Looking Ahead.

The book covers a variety of issues: Jackie's re-marriage to Aristotle Onassis, Ted's presidential ambitions thwarted by the accident at Chappaquiddick when he ran his car over a bridge and the passenger with him drowned, Rosemary's--JFK's sister's--life-long problems following an ill-advised lobotomy done at Joseph's behest, Eunice Kennedy's support of Special Olympics and charity endeavors aimed at people with special needs, her husband Sarge's unsuccessful run for vice-president (for most of his life, his political ambitions were blocked by Ted at every turn) and his support of the Peace Corps, William Kennedy Smith's alleged rape scandal, Michael Kennedy's skiing accident, David Kennedy's drug abuse, as well as JFK Jr.'s life, his relationship with Carolyn, and ultimately their tragic demise. The book ends as Caroline Kennedy dips her toes in politics, and quickly decides that her family name isn't enough foundation on which to build a career now. So is this the end of the Kennedy dynasty? J.Randy Taraborrelli carefully tackles all the developments in the last couple of decades, and attempts to answer this question.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an approachable, readable, and copiously researched look at our most famous political family: the Kennedy's. Their accomplishments have all to often been overlooked by their tragedies and scandals. The author (who has met many members of the family over several decades - including Jackie) does a commendable job at balancing both sides - we see this family struggle through tragedy as well as enjoying its many successes. While most Kennedy books look at either Ted, Jack, Bobby, or Jackie - this one looks at all the major players in the clan: Rose, Ethel, Joan, Eunice, Peter Lawford, Sargent Shriver, etc.

I am from Massachusetts and always followed politics closely - I thought I knew all there was to know about the Kennedy's - this book proved me wrong. The actions surrounding Rosemary, the eldest daughter, and what I had understood about her condition were wrong - the truth is much more interesting! The forgiveness that Joan (who is consoled by President Bush at Ted's funeral with words that should have been said to her year's ago) would find for Ted is inspirational. The dedication Eunice made to her charities is heartwarming. And, we see a true human side to Jackie (who was closer to the Kennedy's after Jack's assasination than I realized).

The commitment this family has made to performing charitable work is most admirable - even when the children were teenagers they were expected to go out and help those less fortunate. It is a shame that the actions of a few of grandchildren have painted all the 3rd generation cousins with the same negative brush - for the most part they really are decent, committed, and hard-working people.
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Format: Hardcover
Having previously read Jackie, Ethel, Joan:The Women of Camelot, I didn't hesitate to read After Camelot. Although I don't think reading Jackie, Ethel, Joan first is a must, this reader found it extremely beneficial. Having very limited knowledge of the Kennedy family, I learned a great deal about them setting a good understanding of the dynamics of the family going into the second book.

I had a hard time to put After Camelot down. As with all J. Randy Taraborrelli's books, I find myself drawn into the book as I read it. I feel the sorrow they feel during the tragic times and the joy they feel during the happy times. Having very limited knowledge of the Kennedy family and empire, I came away from this book with a complete account of their political as well as their personal lives. I found it extremely heartwarming to get to know the sisters and the in-laws of the Kennedy clan as well as the succeeding generations.

I laughed and cried throughout the entire book as I read it. It is, overall, a heartwarming, real, account of a highly public and political family, but at the end of the book I found myself realizing that they are also just human.

For anyone even slightly interested in the Kennedy family, like I was, I strongly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I would not be able to tell you if you could enjoy this book. Depends on if you like fairy tales and illusion, or facts. I almost put the book down after the first ten minutes, the drama and worship sounded like Shakespeare. Shortly after the first chapter you realize there is no way the author could have possibly known what people were thinking and feeling as he describes them. So, I began to listen to it as the novel it became, with the fantasy, and it became a bit more interesting. When he goes into a Kennedy member's situation with an underaged teenager, he quickly dispels any harsh feelings by interjecting the victim was mature for her age. He writes about the people as if they are biblical figures and the worship is very, very heavy. Otherwise, interesting to know what happened to some of the third generation.
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