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In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Edward M. Kennedy tells his extraordinary personal story--of his legendary family, politics, and fifty years at the center of national events.
The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother John F. Kennedy, recounted here in loving detail. In 1962 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he began a fascinating political education and became a legislator.
In this historic memoir, Ted Kennedy takes us inside his family, re-creating life with his parents and brothers and explaining their profound impact on him. For the first time, he describes his heartbreak and years of struggle in the wake of their deaths. Through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time--civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland--and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans, a fight influenced by his own experiences in hospitals.
His life has been marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love of family, and an abiding faith. There have been controversies, too, and Kennedy addresses them with unprecedented candor. At midlife, embattled and uncertain if he would ever fall in love again, he met the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. Facing a tough reelection campaign against an aggressive challenger named Mitt Romney, Kennedy found a new voice and began one of the great third acts in American politics, sponsoring major legislation, standing up for liberal principles, and making the pivotal endorsement of Barack Obama for president.
Hundreds of books have been written about the Kennedys. TRUE COMPASS will endure as the definitive account from a member of America's most heralded family, an inspiring legacy to readers and to history, and a deeply moving story of a life like no other.
A Look at Edward M. Kennedy Through the Years
(Click on each image below to see a larger view)
Ted Kennedy with Bobby Kennedy at the opening of the Royal Children’s Zoo (June 9, 1938)
John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward M. Kennedy
Ted Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston
Ted and Vicki Kennedy (Photo by Ken Regan)
Starred Review. Of course, the recent death of Senator Kennedy adds an extra layer of poignancy, but this would be a welcome addition to the political memoir bookshelf under any circumstances. Drawing upon a series of oral history interviews, and with the help of Ron Powers (Flags of Our Fathers), Kennedy devotes more than half of the book to the first half of his life-growing up as the youngest of his generation, gaining a political education while touring the western U.S. for Jack's presidential campaign in 1960, clashing with Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam, and the heartache of Jack and Bobby's assassinations. After a brief section on Chappaquiddick, Kennedy tends to the anecdotal when discussing his political career from clashing with Nixon over Supreme Court nominations to campaigning for Barack Obama. (Recollections of courting his second wife, Vicki, bring a welcome spark of personal charm.) Some readers may feel there is not quite enough introspection-while acknowledging his first wife's alcoholism, for example, Kennedy glosses over his own drinking problems-but despite the firm line he draws in the sand about discussing his personal life, Kennedy's tone of contrition is sincere. When he was a child, Kennedy's father told him, "You can have a serious life or a nonserious life." He chose the former, and at the end, seems genuinely grateful not just for what that life gave him, but what it enabled him to do for others.See all Editorial Reviews
A fascinating memoir by Ted Kennedy, an under appreciated congressman. While Ted Kennedy lived a less than admirable private life in many ways, he did excellent things for the... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Norma Hayes
Kennedy's memoir provides some insight into the Kennedy family dynamics, and makes some progress is resurrecting the reputation of Joe Kennedy that was absolutely destroyed by... Read morePublished 5 days ago by CJA
Sorry, but I'm simply NOT a fan of Edward Kennedy - was not, am not, will not be in the future.Published 1 month ago by beverly
No need to review the subject matter speaks for itself...excellentPublished 1 month ago by Pat Bartlett
This book is very boring. He talked about things I am not familiar with and don't understand. All the political who's who. Eh. I returned it.Published 2 months ago by Jill
Out of all the memoirs from public figures I have read, this is the best. Senator Edward M. Kennedy --- who earned the title "Lion of the Senate" for his unrivaled skills... Read morePublished 3 months ago by KOMET