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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: #1,839,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Freeman on September 3, 2009
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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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
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 Verified Purchase
Very good review of the Senators life. Reviews all of the ups and downs. All put together in one book. Bet I have six other books with bits and pieces of this information.
There is a lot new if the reader has closely followed the Kennedy family all there lives. This is just a complete review in one book.
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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
...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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