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Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died Hardcover – May 19, 2009

3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Arguably Klein's best work, Ted Kennedy is a masterful account, providing fly-on-the wall perspective into one of America’s most powerful and secretive families…a fascinating read about one of the most consequential men of our time.”
Newsmax

Ted Kennedy is quick, light and fascinating. Neither exculpatory nor completely censorious, it’s a portrait of an American legend whose life — whatever one things of his politics and his past — has been one of significance.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Fast-paced, very readable…Klein drew on a vast store of original research and unprecedented access…worth reading.”
—Huntingtonnews.net

About the Author

EDWARD KLEIN is the former foreign editor of Newsweek and former editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine. He frequently contributes to Vanity Fair and Parade. Klein is also the author of several New York Times bestselling biographies, including All Too Human; Just Jackie; Farewell, Jackie; and The Kennedy Curse.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; First Edition edition (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307451038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307451033
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,898,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Edward Klein is a well-known editor, writer and public speaker with a distinguished career in American journalism.

After serving an apprenticeship as a copy boy for the New York Daily News, he went on to earn a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, which awarded him a traveling fellowship to Japan. There, he learned to speak Japanese and traveled throughout Asia as a foreign correspondent for United Press International. Upon his return to New York, he joined Newsweek, where he became foreign editor and then assistant managing editor with jurisdiction over foreign and military affairs.

From Newsweek, he joined The New York Times. As editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine, he led this flagship publication of the Sunday Times to new heights of public interest and editorial excellence. During his editorship, The New York Times Magazine won the first Pulitzer Prize in its history.

Since leaving The Times, Edward Klein has written many articles for Vanity Fair and other national magazines. For Parade, he wrote "Walter Scott's Personality Parade," the most widely read column in the English language.

His nonfiction books have all appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List. They include: The Truth About Hillary; Katie: The Real Story; Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died; The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House; and Blood Feud: The Clintons Vs. The Obamas. His latest book is Unlikeable: The Problem With Hillary.

Edward Klein is also a novelist. He is the co-author of If Israel Lost the War and the author of The Parachutists.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The astonishing amount of media coverage surrounding the death of Ted Kennedy sent me to Ed Klein's recent biography of the Senator. ("Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died.") I was looking for insight into this singular American life. The book puts that life into a cultural and historical perspective and offers a three-dimensional portrait of the man. Ted Kennedy, like his brothers, can be too quickly understood. It takes a skilled biographer to put the life -- so filled with well known events -- into a balanced portrait that not only explains Kennedy's great accomplishments and his terrible flaws, but also captures the often soul-rattling changes in our country from that awful day in 1963 when Ted Kennedy seemed so callow until the years when he achieved his lasting greatness in the Senate. Ed Klein, who is an acquaintance, has defined the Senator in full.

David Freeman
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well researched book with lots of great information. Well written and gets into the heart and soul of Ted Kennedy. It is balanced with the good and the bad that made Ted Kennedy such a complicated and interesting man.I would recommend this book to everyone.
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Format: Paperback
I actually like this book, although I am a moderate Republican. Senator Kennedy was a product of his time. There was much to admire about his life, and much to lament. I admire his ability to move legislation forward even if it meant half a loaf, rather than the full loaf. The current Congress could learn about his style by practicing this ability.

The stuff I hate is also there. His hiding out and failure to speak to Mary Jo K's death is absolutely shameless. If he notified the police, she might still be alive. His painting of Bork in the Senate as a pseudo Fascist was also very wrong-on the scale of Nixonian. The author points out Nixon's failing, but Kennedy doing it to Bork was very much in the mode of Richard Nixon.

This is a good book about the late Senator. It is a fair appraisal of his ability.
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Format: Hardcover
Now that there are so many book available examining Ted Kennedy's life and work, I was surprised that Edward Klein's book had so little new to offer. This volume is a rather fair and affectionate telling of Senator Kennedy's life, and certainly includes his drinking, divorce and Chappaquiddick, but has little or no background or motivation. His current marriage to Vicki is explored in greater detail than the one to Joan. So while this book is OK, it's far less than I expected. (While I appreciate that biography isn't a competitive sport, I'd recommend The Kennedy Legacy over this book.)
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Format: Hardcover
This book was an interesting read. However Klein seemed to take creative license in some areas for dramatic effect. I checked his footnotes, and did not find sources that would have proven some facts. There were a lot of comments into Ted Kennedy's thoughts at different times of his life, and no footnotes referencing these "thoughts." I enjoyed the book, but came away uncertain about the "facts."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much of this book is available online but parts were missing, giving the false impression that they might actually complete the picture. If this book were about an ordinary person, there can be little doubt that all reviewers would rate it more or less as I have, but it is about a complex person, well, if not complex, at least complicated. However, Edward Klein contributed almost nothing to our understanding of Ted Kennedy as a man.

In fact, I believe the author typifies all that is wrong with American journalism today. Instead of being analytical and/or insightful, he is gossipy, shallow, and vapid. Actually, if we consume anything today from mass media, we should have expected exactly what is between the covers of this mindless book.

To be somewhat fair, the pros of the book can be simply stated as follows:

The language is correct; however, anyone with a fourth grade education could read the book without a dictionary.
The material is well organized.

The author had the benefit of editors so we do not know how much of a hand they played in stuffing 230 pages (of text) between covers.

The cons are also easy enough to summarize:

There is almost nothing factual in the book that is not already discussed online in readily accessed archives.
There is no evidence of any meaningful connection with Ted Kennedy, meaning that a biographer has chosen to write about a subject for which he has no original information, insights, or qualifications.
There is no attempt at all to probe the heart, mind, or soul of a man who was professionally responsible and socially dissolute. We are plagued with tiresome banalities that are simplistic to the point of boredom.
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Format: Hardcover
...if only because this book did not rip off another author for the title.

Other recent books seek to lionize Senator Kennedy (like the Boston Globe's Last Lion), while this one seeks to go beyond boilerplate hero worship.The depiction of inter-family dynamics rang true, but there was a lack of detail. I imagine the definitive Kennedy bio will not come around for some time now.
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