Edward Kennedy

An Intimate Biography

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9781582437613 | Paperback 6 x 9 | 688 pages Buy it Now

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9781582438511 | Ebook | 496 pages Buy it Now

Book Description

In this groundbreaking biography of Edward Kennedy, historian and journalist Burton Hersh combines a lifetime of research and reporting with a lively mixture of never–before–told anecdotes (including the definitive version of the incident at Chappaquiddick, the details of which Kennedy himself filled in for Hersh shortly after it occurred) to create a broad yet unfailingly intimate portrait of the politician who would be universally acknowledged as one of the twentieth century’s greatest American legislators.

Hersh was acquainted with Kennedy since his college days, and the result here is a unique series of revelations that serve to reinterpret the senator’s public and private personas. Conditioned by deep–seated fears that he was an afterthought within his own powerful family, Kennedy developed a genius for conciliation and strategizing that made him a dramatically more effective political figure than either of his older brothers. In addition to this biography’s account of the Chappaquiddick incident, Hersh also delivers the first full report of the vendetta between Kennedy and Richard Nixon, exposing the behind–the–scenes manipulations to which Kennedy resorted to drive Nixon from office during the Watergate scandal.

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Praise For This Book

Praise for Edward Kennedy

"In the end it was Ted Kennedy, the scapegrace kid brother, who stood for something, passed important laws, defended liberal principles, and had the most substantial career. No one has known Teddy longer, followed that career more closely, or written more seriously or at greater length about the last Kennedy than Burton Hersh. His new book on Teddy draws on all its predecessors and adds substantial new material to create a magisterial political biography of the Kennedy who added real substance to the fleeting promise of his brothers." —Thomas Powers

"I think your readers will enjoy the trip. As a would–be historian, I was much impressed by the extent and depth of your research, by its specificity of detail, and by your skill in presenting a scene and pinpointing the Dramatis Personae . . . I think you are admirably even–handed. You have written a warts–and–all biography, not a hagiography, although you aren't disloyal to your man. In the end, the hero eclipses the slob, but you don't slight his moral infirmity and you present him without tears . . . let me commend the biography's structure and thoroughness, its solidity and pace. I hope it gets the attention it deserves." —Daniel Aaron, from a letter to the author