From Publishers Weekly
Last year, Boston Globe
reporters working on a multipart series uncovered the stunning news that John Kerry's paternal grandfather was Jewish. This book, an expansion of that series, doesn't find any smoking guns about the presumptive Democratic candidate for president. But it does offer a detailed and at times critical biography of the Massachusetts senator. Relying on years of reporting, the authors trace Kerry's itinerant boyhood as the son of a Foreign Service officer and his later years at prestigious St. Paul's, where early on he demonstrated intellectual seriousness and ambition. This ambition is one of the themes of Kerry's life as presented here. The biography shows Kerry's somewhat bumpy ride as a politician and his strength more as an investigator-on Iran-Contra-than as a legislator. The book, written in the lucid, straightforward prose one expects from a newspaper writing team, is especially strong on Kerry's college and Vietnam years, detailing the sense of service felt by Kerry and his fellow Skull-and-Bonesmen at Yale, and Kerry's doubts about the Vietnam War even before he went over to serve. The authors take critical issues head-on: they explore questions over Kerry's first Purple Heart and his leaving Vietnam before his service was over, as well as the Nixon administration's targeting him as an enemy. Kerry supporters may find the tone a bit harsh, but all who are interested in the 2004 election will benefit from this major serious examination of a man who would be president. 27 photos.
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"An extensive, and in my view, very fine piece of work." -- Brit Hume, Fox News Channel
"Kerry campaign... is portrayed in this book for the inquisitive voter or political junkie." -- Campaigns & Elections, Oct/Nov. Issue
"The conscientious research in this book reveals that [these] reporters ... were out to get the facts." -- Washington Post, June 16, 2004
"The final result is the 448-page John F. Kerry, whose subtitle stands as a fair example of gauntlet-throwing" -- The New York Observer, July 28, 2004
"[One] wish[es] that there were as thorough, up-to-date and probing a biography of George W. Bush available before the election." -- New York Times, May 4, 2004
"a ready guide to the Democratic nominee." -- National Review, May 31, 2004
"an extensive, well-documented overview" -- Louisville Courier-Journal, July 18, 2004
"excellent and thoroughly researched... likely to become one of the most authoritative sources on the candidate." -- Library Journal, June 1, 2004
"exhaustive, textured ... to know who ... Kerry is and what kind of president he might be, this is the book" -- Newhouse News Service, May 30, 2004
"quick read ... gives a ... three-dimensional character... [the authors] have left enough new in there to keep you turning the page." -- ABCNews.com, April 27, 2004