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Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea Hardcover – April 1, 2014
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"When 29-year old Kennedy entered politics after the war, he showed no conspicuous anxiety about ... being seen piloting a sailboat ... such nautical images might subtly remind people that he had won a Purple Heart as a naval war hero in the South Pacific. As James W. Graham notes in 'Victura' ..., his brother Edward would make the link between the two subjects by arguing that Jack's sailing background had been 'absolutely indispensable' in helping him to save the lives of PT-09's crew." -- historian Michael Beschloss, New York Times, Sept. 12, 2015
"Victura is more than Graham recounting the sailing experiences of the Kennedys. In this well-researched but warmly written book, Graham sometimes goes several pages describing an election, or a Kennedy family intrigue, and then gracefully brings the story back to the sea, showing how, in best and worst of times, the family pulled together around sailing."-- Rich Evans, book review, SAILING magazine, March 2014
"A compelling story that is at times exciting, heartbreaking and fascinating ... Politics, history, sports -- there's something for just about anyone in these pages, whether those already steeped in Kennedy lore or those coming to the family history for the first time ... Throughout Victura, Graham makes mention of the highly competitive nature of the entire Kennedy clan. Joe Sr. was one of those folks who thought that second place is nothing more than first loser. What Graham has here is a winner -- a first-rate effort well worth the read." -- Kelli Christiansen, Chicago Book Review
"... offers new insights into the dynamics and magic of the Kennedy family and their intense relationship with sailing, the sea, and Victura, the 25-foot sloop purchased in 1932 shortly after the family's move to Hyannis Port ... Graham, a sailor himself who has worked for decades in politics, has crafted an epic story, rich with colorful anecdotes and rare interviews about a family pulled together during the best and worst of times by one small sailboat." -- Sheridan Road magazine.
"New and notable reads for the summer."
“This wonderfully-written book takes a well-worn subject—the Kennedys—and gives it as fresh a gust as the sailors on the sturdy, little Victura themselves must have felt a thousand times off the Nantucket shore. In going to sea on board the Victura, Joe, Jack, Bobby, and Teddy Kennedy entered their metaphor of quest, braced themselves for the unknown, and left their country, in the end, with an imperishable poignancy in its heart.” (Richard D. Mahoney, author of Sons & Brothers)
“The Kennedys saw the world and nature as a magical place, full of mystery and adventure. They especially enjoyed challenges and the freedom of activities like sailing, skiing, river running, climbing and just being outside. Two thirds of the surface of planet earth is liquid: the sea is vital to life—a huge source of both pleasure and fear—and a great teacher. Victura, a small wooden sailboat, became the center of adventure, companionship and love for this remarkable family. Author Graham knows the sea, sailing and the Kennedys. Sail on Victura, to new horizons.” (Jim Whittaker, first American to summit Mount Everest and author of Life On The Edge. www.jimwhittaker.com)
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