The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy

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The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy

Format:  Hardcover,

868 pages

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

Publish Date: Nov 2012

ISBN-13: 9781594203763

ISBN-10: 1594203768

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist
"New York Times "Ten Best Books of 2012
"Riveting..."The Patriarch" is a book hard to put down." - Christopher Buckley, "The New York Times Book Review"
In this magisterial new work "The Patriarch," the celebrated historian David Nasaw tells the full story of Joseph P. Kennedy, the founder of the twentieth century's most famous political dynasty. Nasaw--the only biographer granted unrestricted access to the Joseph P. Kennedy papers in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library--tracks Kennedy's astonishing passage from East Boston outsider to supreme Washington insider. Kennedy's seemingly limitless ambition drove his career to the pinnacles of success as a banker, World War I shipyard manager, Hollywood studio head, broker, Wall Street operator, New Deal presidential adviser, and founding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His astounding fall from grace into ignominy did not come until the years leading up to and following America's entry into the Second World War, when the antiwar position he took as the first Irish American ambassador to London made him the subject of White House ire and popular distaste.
"The Patriarch" is a story not only of one of the twentieth century's wealthiest and most powerful Americans, but also of the family he raised and the children who completed the journey he had begun. Of the many roles Kennedy held, that of father was most dear to him. The tragedies that befell his family marked his final years with unspeakable suffering.
"The Patriarch" looks beyond the popularly held portrait of Kennedy to answer the many questions about his life, times, and legacy that have continued to haunt the historical record. Was Joseph P. Kennedy an appeaser and isolationist, an anti-Semite and a Nazi sympathizer, a stock swindler, a bootlegger, and a colleague of mobsters? What was the nature of his relationship with his wife, Rose? Why did he have his daughter Rosemary lobotomized? Why did he oppose the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, and American assistance to the French in Vietnam? What was his relationship to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI? Did he push his second son into politics and then buy his elections for him?
In this pioneering biography, Nasaw draws on never-before-published materials from archives on three continents and interviews with Kennedy family members and friends to tell the life story of a man who participated in the major events of his times: the booms and busts, the Depression and the New Deal, two world wars and a cold war, and the birth of the New Frontier. In studying Kennedy's life, we relive with him the history of the American Century.

Specifications

Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Publish Date: Nov 2012
ISBN-13: 9781594203763
ISBN-10: 1594203768
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 868
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 2.85
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 7.0 x 10.0 x 2.0

Chapter outline

Cast of Charactersp. ix
Introductionp. xix
East Boston to Cambridge to Brooklinep. 1
Dunganstown to East Bostonp. 3
School Daysp. 16
Starting Outp. 32
Warp. 47
Making a Millionp. 58
Hollywoodp. 83
My Own Master in My Own Businessp. 85
Hollywoodp. 105
Gloria and Rosep. 128
Last Exit from Hollywoodp. 149
Washingtonp. 165
On the Roosevelt Trainp. 167
Waiting for the Callp. 185
To Washingtonp. 204
Reelecting Rooseveltp. 238
Maritime Commissionerp. 254
Londonp. 281
A Plainspoken Ambassadorp. 283
A Rather Dreadful Homecomingp. 312
Munichp. 323
The Kennedy Planp. 348
Sidelined and Censoredp. 371
This Country Is at War with Germanyp. 399
The Lives of Americans Are at Stakep. 408
Defeatistp. 427
The Fall of Francep. 444
The Worst of Timesp. 457
There's Hell to Pay Tonightp. 473
Washington, but Brieflyp. 487
Home Againp. 489
The Man Who Out-Hamleted Hamletp. 505
Palm Beach and Hyannis Portp. 523
A Forced Retirementp. 525
Warp. 538
A Melancholy Businessp. 570
The Candidate's Fatherp. 591
Family Mattersp. 610
The Great Debatep. 632
The Next Senator from Massachusettsp. 652
Retirementp. 671
Making Money and Giving It Awayp. 692
The Catholic Candidatep. 709
Electing a Presidentp. 726
He Belongs to the Countryp. 749
No!p. 775
Acknowledgmentsp. 789
Notesp. 793
Bibliography of Works Citedp. 829
Indexp. 835

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2013-03-15)

Kennedy, father of a U.S. President and eight other remarkable children, was a complex man. He was Boston-Irish from a privileged background but far exceeded his forebears in moneymaking and ambition both for himself and his children. For his offspring, he was always there-a family man extraordinaire. On other fronts he greatly admired British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain-they both wanted to avoid a devastating war-up to a point and made an impact on Hollywood as founder of RKO Pictures, absorbing in the process a distrust of Jews that affected the rest of his life.

Kennedy was also a philanderer but discrete about it to the point that his wife, Rose, didn't believe the rumors. There's much else to tell, and Nasaw tells it. Reader Malcom Hillgartner mimics the Boston accent we know from the president very nicely, as well as those of many other characters, especially the British. Both success and tragedy followed Kennedy, and the text is presented in a way that listeners can feel their impact.

Verdict: With the 50th anniversary of JFK's death approaching, any related titles will be in demand. Recommended.

-Don Wismer, Trustee Emeritus, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, 2012 (United States)
  • Pulitzer Prize, 2013 (United States)

Book description

2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist

New York Times Ten Best Books of 2012

“Riveting… The Patriarch is a book hard to put down.” – Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review

In this magisterial new work The Patriarch, the celebrated historian David Nasaw tells the full story of Joseph P. Kennedy, the founder of the twentieth century's most famous political dynasty. Nasaw—the only biographer granted unrestricted access to the Joseph P. Kennedy papers in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library—tracks Kennedy's astonishing passage from East Boston outsider to supreme Washington insider. Kennedy's seemingly limitless ambition drove his career to the pinnacles of success as a banker, World War I shipyard manager, Hollywood studio head, broker, Wall Street operator, New Deal presidential adviser, and founding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His astounding fall from grace into ignominy did not come until the years leading up to and following America's entry into the Second World War, when the antiwar position he took as the first Irish American ambassador to London made him the subject of White House ire and popular distaste.

The Patriarch is a story not only of one of the twentieth century's wealthiest and most powerful Americans, but also of the family he raised and the children who completed the journey he had begun. Of the many roles Kennedy held, that of father was most dear to him. The tragedies that befell his family marked his final years with unspeakable suffering.

The Patriarch looks beyond the popularly held portrait of Kennedy to answer the many questions about his life, times, and legacy that have continued to haunt the historical record. Was Joseph P. Kennedy an appeaser and isolationist, an anti-Semite and a Nazi sympathizer, a stock swindler, a bootlegger, and a colleague of mobsters? What was the nature of his relationship with his wife, Rose? Why did he have his daughter Rosemary lobotomized? Why did he oppose the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, and American assistance to the French in Vietnam? What was his relationship to J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI? Did he push his second son into politics and then buy his elections for him?

In this pioneering biography, Nasaw draws on never-before-published materials from archives on three continents and interviews with Kennedy family members and friends to tell the life story of a man who participated in the major events of his times: the booms and busts, the Depression and the New Deal, two world wars and a cold war, and the birth of the New Frontier. In studying Kennedy's life, we relive with him the history of the American Century.

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