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True Compass: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 14, 2009
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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)
From Publishers Weekly
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
Top Customer Reviews
As one who came of age politically during the presidential administration of JFK, I recognize most of the names and the events that populate Senator Kennedy's narrative. Any reader of age 50 or more who paid any attention at all to the world in which he or she was growing up will recall the radio bulletins, the TV newscasts, and the newspaper headlines of the past fifty years as events unfold in this book. We can relate to much that is here on a very personal level.
The narrative takes us beyond the surface news that we recall, giving us an insider's view. Kennedy opens the stage door for us and lets us see a fair amount of the backstage action. While no striking, history-altering revelations are here, we do get to see personal actions, interactions and reactions of major players on the world stage that we probably missed during the public performance. (Sorry, my metaphor seems to be getting a bit unwieldy.) The point is that this is not a rehash of news that we digested over the last five decades but an insider's view of the events that made the news.
These memories give us a very mortal, human view of the Kennedy clan. We all know that the Kennedy family personified influence, wealth, and political power. We may have admired them or detested them for this, but we all saw them as different, above the crowd, not really one of "us." They were the American version of royalty, untouchable, shining, and often wearing the crown of public adulation.Read more ›
An avid sailor, Kennedy said sailing helped him, "displace the emptiness inside me with the awareness of direction" and so it could be also said that the direction his brothers left him also helped displace the void left by their deaths. He not only picked up where they left off in politics but he took on the role of father-figure to all of their children too.
While there are hundreds of books about the Kennedys, this is the only definitive inside account from a member of the family, evoking high expectations for candor and revelation into the inner lives of this family like no other.
While this book is exquisite in its detail - a testament to Ted Kennedy's love of painting a picture, telling a story and lighting the dark with humor - it may leave you wanting for deeper introspections into the virtually relentless litany of tragedies that befell his life. Alas, this sailor didn't like to look back and peer too deeply into the darkness he had escaped - even in his memoir - for fear that the darkness might overtake him and engulf him in despair. Keep moving forward, stay ahead of the storm, "I can handle this" seems to have been his mantra and code for survival.
At the heart of this autobiography is the message that through perseverance, will-power and fortitude we can overcome any shortcomings, atone for any failures and succeed in our chosen course.Read more ›
The fact that the Senator died just before his memoir's release made me want to see it even more. At a hefty length of 532 pages I was hoping to finally hear Senator Edward Kennedy's explanation of a couple of important events in his life that he hasn't been exactly forthright about in the past. The most important of those events was his driving his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 and swimming to safety while his passenger Mary Jo Kepechne, a campaign worker and maybe much more, drowned.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is not perhaps a book that delves deeply into anything. I was most interested in finding out why Ted
agreed with the Warren report's findings about how his brother died. Read more
Very good, complete with the exception of only one or two limited paragraphs regarding JFK assination? But I'd give him a break regarding that, best forgoten by a brother.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I was disappointed that Kennedy didn't talk about working with his son Patrick who was a congressman. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chaoscat60
I loved all of Ted Kennedy's book. He is a great story teller. It is an informative, funny book full of tales of his whole life. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Darlene R. Wall
I came away liking Edward Kennedy far more than I had liked him by knowing what I had read about him. Then I realized that is exactly what I was meant to feel. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Robert Mazerov