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Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch Hardcover – July 15, 2013
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Barbara Perry has crafted an insightful and fast-paced narrative, based on Rose Kennedy's own papers, that does full justice to the vital role Mrs. Kennedy played in the turbulent life of her influential family. Perry has set a high standard for biographies of presidential mothers and their impact on their children. --Lewis L. Gould, author of Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Creating the Modern First Lady
Laudable... Perry employs a newly released trove of diaries and letters to add nuance and detail to an essentially familiar story. --Julia M. Klein
Laudable...Perry employs a newly released trove of diaries and letters to add nuance and detail to an essentially familiar story. --Julia M. Klein
A fuller picture than ever before...Perry writes with compassion and brings keen insight into what Rose Kennedy's own words tell us about this complex woman. --Amy Scribner
An insightful portrait of this paradoxical woman...[Kennedy] gave the public every reason to love her.
Perry's biography is a finely crafted, comprehensive account of one of the most driven women in the shadows of American political history...While there are untold numbers of books on the Kennedys, Perry adds archival details and nuance to our understanding of Rose. Kennedy completists and novices alike are sure to find the book fascinating as it further reveals the perspective of the strong woman behind the dynasty. --Lisa Guardarini
Laudable Perry employs a newly released trove of diaries and letters to add nuance and detail to an essentially familiar story. --Julia M. Klein"
Barbara Perry's story of Rose Kennedy will likely become the definitive biography of one of the most important women of the 20th century. Perry utilizes newly released materials to tell a more complete story of the matriarch of the Kennedy family. --Trey Grayson, Director, Institute of Politics, Harvard University"
A fuller picture than ever before Perry writes with compassion and brings keen insight into what Rose Kennedy s own words tell us about this complex woman. --Amy Scribner"
An insightful portrait of this paradoxical woman [Kennedy] gave the public every reason to love her. "
Barbara Perry has done it again! Rose Kennedy is the much needed, balanced biography of the grand matriarch of American politics. Whether it was helping the disabled, raising children, or playing ward boss, Mrs. Kennedy was a force of nature. --Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University and author of Cronkite"
At the core of most families, frequently out of the public spotlight, is the matriarch. She personifies and by example extends the values and mores that make that family unique. Mrs. Rose Kennedy was such a woman. Raised in a high profile political family, she nurtured one of America's most influential families. Her influence continues to be a force in American culture. Rose Kennedy captures the essence of this exceptional leader. It places her in the spotlight she avoided but richly deserves. --Bob Graham, U.S. Senator"
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the most inspiring women of the twentieth century. Everyone knows her as the mother of President Kennedy, but her story is far richer one for the ages. Barbara Perry brilliantly and sensitively shows us Rose s world, filled with almost unimaginable privilege yet scarred by terrible tragedies that would have been unbearable for most. You will be deeply moved by Perry s magnificently researched account of this remarkable centenarian, whose steely optimism and unshakeable religious faith overcame life s darkest detours. --Larry J. Sabato, Director, University of Virginia Center for Politics"
Perry s biography is a finely crafted, comprehensive account of one of the most driven women in the shadows of American political history While there are untold numbers of books on the Kennedys, Perry adds archival details and nuance to our understanding of Rose. Kennedy completists and novices alike are sure to find the book fascinating as it further reveals the perspective of the strong woman behind the dynasty. --Lisa Guardarini"
Perry has created an insightful portrait of this paradoxical woman. --Helen Rogan"
About the Author
More About the Author
On a high school field trip to Washington, D.C., I sat outside the White House and vowed to my mother that someday I would come back to work in the nation's capital. I did--from internships to fellowships--in all three branches of government. With a master's degree from Oxford and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, I became a specialist on the presidency, the Supreme Court, and, of course, the Kennedys. In addition to serving as a Supreme Court Fellow, I have produced five books on the justices, appointments, and civil rights and liberties. My book on First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy continues to prompt media inquiries, especially comparing Mrs. Obama to "Jackie O." I have completed a biography of Rose Kennedy, based on her recently released papers at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and a collection of her letters that I have acquired. It is gratifying to know that Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch has been recommended by the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Vanity Fair.
Top Customer Reviews
I think most people reading this review have the basic outline of Rose's life pretty well fixed. Born in 1890 to an up-and-coming Irish-American politician in Boston and his wife, she died at the age of 104, having buried four of her nine children and having lived through two world wars and a financial depression as well as other personal upheavals. Rose was the loving/enabling wife of a charismatic man who treated her financially better than he treated her emotionally. She was also the mother/matriarch of one of the most important American political dynasties. She was also a staunch Catholic, whose devotion to her faith helped her through the rough times in her life. But who was she?
Perry's biography of Rose Kennedy makes the point in ways both subtle and direct that Rose Kennedy was a loner. Despite having nine children and overseeing their lives in the most minute fashion and also being the wife of an intensely political man, Rose liked to spend time by herself. A lot of time by herself. Although she bragged about bringing up nine children, a lot of her time was spent traveling to Europe where she shopped and went siteseeing. The children, when she was home, were strictly supervised for school lessons, the observances of faith, and social rituals so important to her. Good dental hygiene was particularly stressed, as was keeping one's body thin.Read more ›
Rose Kennedy was the eldest of six children born into a strict Irish Catholic family. Her father, nicknamed Honey Fitz, lived and breathed politics. Because her mother preferred to remain at home, as a child Rose accompanied her father to political events and acted as his hostess in later years. Rose attended convent boarding schools and received a strict religious upbringing. Detail oriented, organized, and a perfectionist, she had a mind of her own and balked over her parents' choice of a mate. Instead she followed her heart and married a young and ambitious Irish Catholic: Joe Kennedy, the son of her father's political rival.
When Joe and Rose married, they immediately hired household help, which meant she never had to wash a dish. Even though she had nine children, Rose bragged that she never changed a diaper. She loved her brood but often found the need to escape her noisy, active family. So she had a private beach house built for her and often went there to swim, nap, or read, enjoying the quiet and privacy she needed. Rose taught the children manners, grooming and decorum, and even quizzed them on geography and current events at meal times. She had very high standards, and when one of them broke a rule, the child was promptly punished. She was also extremely religious and turned to her faith in times of loss as well as moments of great joy.
The children were intelligent, capable and active, with the exception of Rosemary, whose behavior and educational skills were well below normal. Joe and Rose had grand ambitions for their offspring. Joe encouraged all his sons to enter politics.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Close look of the under workings and beliefs of the Kennedy. Their thought process was tilted to say the least. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Donna A. Miles
I read this after doing a search for info about Rosemary Kennedy. I did learn about Rosemary and her surgery and subsequent institutionalization, but I learned more about her... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Searcher
My husband accuses me of being a Kennedyophile. Maybe so, but in reading about the Kennedy's you also learn about other people and the history of our generation.Published 2 months ago by F. Denise Roe
Lot's of behind the scenes info on the Kennedy matriarch. She suffered great sadness in the loss of 5 of her children and the adulterous affairs of her husband, Joe the Jerk; but... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I've never claimed to appreciate the stream of consciousness style of writing, and this book only affirms my dislike of that style. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Suzanne G
The book was interesting,but a slow read. She was very devoted to her family and did a lot of campaigning for her son's elections. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Carol