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The Kennedys: An American Drama Paperback – 17 Jan 2002
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About the Author
David Horowitz is the author of Radical Son, The Politics of Bad Faith, Left Illusions, and other books. He is the President of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles, California.
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My only disappointment was the fact that I was looking forward to the assassination
sections of the two brothers, and was left aghast when I realised that both of these
iconic events were despatched in half a page and the civil rights troubles were similarly
But it's still an intriguing read, the way this family conducted their affairs, and the way fate
had this permanent grudge, to leave all those remaining at the end hopelessly lost.
This book is very well written with family trees in every section, which makes good sense.
Sometimes they seem a little in thrall to the family rather than just sticking to facts, but perhaps that's what you should expect from a book chronicling such a charismatic family.
They don't spend too much time on John F Kennedy, which is satisfying. A recommended read if you're a Kennedy-phile or even if you're just interested in biographies...
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Good: The work itself is excellent. As a boomer, the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent killing of his brother Bobby were world-shaking events in my young life. My perception of the family was heavily influenced by the images which they ensured made the rounds: gatherings in Hyannisport and games of touch football, JFK at his desk in the Oval Office, Jackie hosting the first-ever televised tour of the White House, Bobby on the campaign trail, many others.
The authors put all of that in context and provide the reader with a well-researched and thorough examination of a family whose history is a truly remarkable mix of ambition, loyalty, courage, folly, love, and profound dysfunction. The stories read almost like episodes in a soap opera, but there is an eye for detail and a straightforwardness in the prose which keeps the narrative from becoming in any way over-heated. Over all, there is the shadow of death: Joe Junior dying in a plane crash on a military mission which he did not have to undertake; free-spirited Kathleen (known to everyone as Kick), killed while flying with her married lover; the sudden, shocking of deaths of JFK and RFK (which are woven into the saga rather than being allowed to dominate it); kid brother Teddy panicking and abandoning a young woman to drown (spelling doom for his Presidential ambitions); the sad, drug-induced demise of Bobby's son David, who lost his father early in life and never could find his place in the family; and of course the crash which killed JFK, Jr. in a tragic echo of the loss of his uncle Joe. The reader is left with a sense that many members of this family did (or do) not think that the rules -- even those governing the physical environment -- apply to them.
The Bad: I lost count of the typos, mangled sentences, and numerous production errors. Some of the pages look like they were produced by an incorrectly configured OCR system: letters changed to punctuation marks, words transposed, sentences with the final few words left off. I even came across two different pages which ended in the middle of a sentence and when one turned the page, it was clear that the entire next page of text had gone missing. I don't know who handled production for Encounter Books, but they apparently are in the wrong job.
All in all, a very worthwhile read, but I strongly recommend finding an edition which contains the full and correct allotment of words.
2. Misspellings and left out parts of sentences abound!