- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (April 3, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451642261
- ISBN-13: 978-1451642261
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World Hardcover – April 3, 2018
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“An ace reporter and an artful storyteller, Eileen McNamara has rendered an indelible portrait of a Kennedy sibling every bit as savvy and accomplished as her celebrated brothers. Indispensable.”
—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast and Margaret Fuller: A New American Life
“Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World is, in many ways, a revelation.... A nuanced portrait of a woman who was brusque yet charismatic, demanding and at times imperious, but also down-to-earth.... Eunice offers glimpses of iconic events... but those much chronicled points in history are not dwelt upon. Because this is Eunice's story. It's about time.”
“McNamara gives us what’s been missing in our vision of America’s First Family: a look at the woman who defied Joe Kennedy’s absent expectations for his daughters, an appreciation for how Eunice made the ignored rights of the intellectually disabled into one of the great civil rights causes, and reason to believe the implausible claim that it was Eunice—not her more celebrated brothers Jack, Bobby and Ted—who crafted the Kennedys’ most monumental legacy.”
—Larry Tye, New York Times bestselling author of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon
“Fascinating.... A great, great read.”
—The Today Show
“Spectacular! Who better to write such a terrific biography of Eunice Shriver than Eileen McNamara, who devoted her own Pulitzer Prize-winning career giving voice to victims and the disadvantaged. In McNamara’s piercing reporting and lovely prose, the neglected story of the Kennedy brothers’ indomitable sister gets told for the first time.”
—John A. Farrell, author of Richard Nixon: The Life
“An exemplary biography: thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and just the right length. It deserves a wide readership.”
“[McNamara’s] biography is neither a hagiography nor a hatchet job, but a frank and nuanced assessment of a complicated woman.... Difficult and driven Eunice Kennedy Shriver certainly was, but she used her prickly personality (and the Kennedy fortune) for the lasting benefit of others. Famous for her indifference to such social niceties as good grooming and good manners, she would likely have appreciated Eileen McNamara’s forthright portrait.”
—The Boston Globe
“What a perfect combination of author and subject. The great Eileen McNamara shows how Eunice was the real deal Kennedy: tough, effective, and committed to social change.”
—David Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Barack Obama: The Story
“McNamara has written a fair-minded, well-reported book. The Shriver children wisely trusted her and opened up Eunice’s papers, allowing McNamara to deliver a sensitive, nuanced portrait.”
—The Washington Post
“Along with providing insights into Eunice’s roles as wife, mother, sister, and daughter, McNamara uses her journalistic prowess to produce a complete and detailed portrait of this spirited and magnetic activist.”
About the Author
Eileen McNamara spent nearly thirty years as a journalist at The Boston Globe, where she won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary and was among the first to raise the alarm about clergy sexual abuse. She is now the director of the journalism program at Brandeis University. She is the author of Eunice, Breakdown, and The Parting Glass (with Eric Roth).
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Young Eunice was in the middle of her family. She was closest in age to her sister Rosemary and when Rosemary was sent off to live a facility apart from the family and later had a lobotomy, unbeknownst to the rest of her siblings, her world was a bit shaken. At that time, she became closer to her brother Jack and the causes that she was fighting for became even more important to her and she urged him to help her fight for them once he was in office.
Unlike her friends and other debutantes of her generation who were getting married at a young age, Eunice was not in a hurry even though her future husband and others were courting her like mad. She was caught up in her career. Prior to that, her education. She went from Manhattanville, where her mother had gone to school and then on to Stanford at Jack’s urging.
Well-traveled, an avid athlete, despite her poor health, much like her brother Jack, nothing held her back. Eunice was so curious and interested in people with disabilities. However, she looked at it from a different perspective than was common at the time. She saw someone like her sister Rosemary and believed that you should see their talent rather than what they could not do. She was immensely interested in women and children who were caught up in the foster care system or who had committed crimes and wanted to break the cycle. She advocated for them.
A lifelong pursuit of helping the intellectually disabled, a devoutly religious woman, a woman who was a feminist before the word even existed, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a passionate believer who, when she set her mind to something, she made it happen. It’s interesting to think that had she been born later in time, she might have been another Kennedy in office and her brothers might have been campaigning for her, just as she did for them.
This book is a fascinating look at how Eunice’s life evolved within the Kennedy family as well as a unique viewpoint of what was going on in the world around her, allowing her to make great contributions to it.