- Hardcover: 222 pages
- Publisher: Jameson Books Inc. (January 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0916054284
- ISBN-13: 978-0916054281
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Death At Chappaquiddick Hardcover – January 1, 2000
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The book would have been even more credible if the authors had stuck to the research and avoided a lot of anti-Kennedy and anti-Democratic Party remarks. That gave me the feeling that authors might have chosen to overlook facts that did not fit with their anti-Kennedy feelings and opinions.
After this opening paragraph, the authors of DEATH AT CHAPPAQUIDDICK clearly state what they set out to do: write a complete account of the incident at Chappaquiddick. "The facts draw their own conclusion. Chappaquiddick is the Senator's own doing... It is a very serious issue that shows how a potential President of the United States reacted during his time of crisis. For this reason, Chappaquiddick cannot be ignored."
I opened this book at 8:00 p.m. and finished it at 11:00 p.m. Could NOT put it down. It's only 217 pages long, but it absolutely, positively devastates any defense, or remorse, offered or expressed by Ted Kennedy about his actions that night.
I found it particularly damning that 17 telephone calls were placed, all billed to Sen. Kennedy's credit card, either by Ted Kennedy or his associates. Five of these were placed just after the accident, before Kennedy left Chappaquiddick for his hotel in Edgartown. The first to the family compound in Hyannis Port -- a call lasting 21 minutes. Ted Sorensen, a Kennedy advisor, and Kennedy's attorney, Burke Marshall, were also telephoned before he left the island. Yet, he could not summon appropriate help for the woman trapped in that car.
As the authors put it, "these five calls do not indicate shock. They indicate a desperate man trying to get advice and give warning about political firestorm approaching. One must figure that each person he spoke with either called other Kennedy loyalists or made plans to aid the Senator. None of them tried to aid Mary Jo. Even a long distance, anonymous call to the Edgartown police could possibly have saved her life."
It also was a revelation to find out that there was a volunteer firehouse just across the way from the cottage where the party was going on, where Kennedy returned after the accident. A firehouse! Potential help for the woman trapped in the car was right there, but she was ignored in the rush to protect Ted Kennedy's reputation and political future.
The authors investigate every angle of Kennedy's timeline of events. They include the text of Kennedy's television speech about the accident; Kennedy's testimony at inquest; the Court's decision against the exhumation of the body for an autopsy. The behavior of the police and prosecuting authorities toward Kennedy is explored. If you have an interest in what happened at Chappaquiddick or in the character of Ted Kennedy (and, it must be said, the people who surrounded him, including the police, the prosecuting authorities, and others) you cannot ignore this book.
This was such a major episode in the shaping of Teddy's political and personal life, that it should not be swept under the rug as a minor episode that didn't matter. A young lady's life was lost and Kennedy's explanations of what happend and what appears to be special treatment beasue of who he was, is a lesson in how American justice can be manipulated.
No matter if you are a democrat, republican, independent, or history buff, you should take the time to read this book. I read the book so that the life of an unknown young lady, Mary Jo, could have value to those who never had the chance to know her. There are lessons to be learned, no matter your view on the Kennedys.
Someone looking for a full view of what took place should also read other books on the subject. This book is not an exhaustive historical analysis of the events.