- Hardcover: 532 pages
- Publisher: Twelve; First Edition edition (September 14, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446539252
- ISBN-13: 978-0446539258
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 402 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
Starred Review. Of course, the recent death of Senator Kennedy adds an extra layer of poignancy, but this would be a welcome addition to the political memoir bookshelf under any circumstances. Drawing upon a series of oral history interviews, and with the help of Ron Powers (Flags of Our Fathers), Kennedy devotes more than half of the book to the first half of his life-growing up as the youngest of his generation, gaining a political education while touring the western U.S. for Jack's presidential campaign in 1960, clashing with Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam, and the heartache of Jack and Bobby's assassinations. After a brief section on Chappaquiddick, Kennedy tends to the anecdotal when discussing his political career from clashing with Nixon over Supreme Court nominations to campaigning for Barack Obama. (Recollections of courting his second wife, Vicki, bring a welcome spark of personal charm.) Some readers may feel there is not quite enough introspection-while acknowledging his first wife's alcoholism, for example, Kennedy glosses over his own drinking problems-but despite the firm line he draws in the sand about discussing his personal life, Kennedy's tone of contrition is sincere. When he was a child, Kennedy's father told him, "You can have a serious life or a nonserious life." He chose the former, and at the end, seems genuinely grateful not just for what that life gave him, but what it enabled him to do for others.
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Top customer reviews
agreed with the Warren report's findings about how his brother died. Surely, being an intelligent man
and an attorney he knew they were wrong. Perhaps, he was content to let it lie rather than tilt at
windmills like Don Quixote. There really was nothing much about it at all, so I was disappointed. I was
interested in reading the book because I was an 8 year old when JFK was murdered and it really
affected me very seriously. I needed there to be a Camelot at that time in my life when so much was
not going well for me. There were other interesting parts of this book because I am a student of
history. While I know that Senator Kennedy was a flawed human being as are all of us, I believe he
redeemed himself with all of the legislation he fought for. There would be so much less to be thankful
for as Americans if he had not served. All of the Kennedy children with the obvious exception of
Rosemary chose to serve their country in many different ways. Politicians, activists, creators of
organizations we would not have if it were not for them like Special Olympics and the Peace Corps.
They did not have to put themselves out there. They could have done like a lot of other super rich
people and just been selfish with their money and their time. I am no Kennedy lover or hater. I am a
student of history and this is a family that with it's good and bad will be in our history books. There
were things Ted Kennedy did that were very bad. On the other hand there were things he did that
were very good. Even with his busy schedule he went with his daughter for her chemotherapy
treatments and to church, one day a week he read to a poor child, and he was there for all the
nephews and nieces who had lost their fathers to assassins. Each niece was walked down the
aisle on her wedding day by Uncle Ted. He was at every graduation and important event in all
the family's lives. That counts for something. I think in these comments and reviews too much has
already been said about the negative things that were a part of his life. Only God is allowed to
judge Ted. We can say what we think, but it really doesn't matter. I thought a lot of the book was
boring and repetitive, but I would still recommend it.
I appreciate Ted for his decades of service in the Senate and would've liked a little more about his thought process and work ethic on Capitol Hill. I would recommend this book for Kennedy fanatics, but there are better resources for the tumultuous times during which Ted served.
It is a shame that we lost such a great statesman and such a noble gentleman; but this memoir doesn't paint the full picture of the events that shaped our nation, my life, and his family.