The Education of Edward Kennedy: A Family Biography
The Education of Edward Kennedy A Family Biography Author:Burton Hersh; Foreword by: James MacGregor Burns Despite all the cover stories on Senator Edward Kennedy, especially during his times of crisis, it is still hard for most of us to take the real measure of the man. — So writes James MacGregor Burns in his Foreword to this most remarkable biography, which "takes the measure" of Edward Kennedy in such detail and with such fluency that his complex... more »ities as man and politicaian merge to allow the reader unprecedented insight into the life of one of America's political leaders.
Burton Hersh locates Edward Kennedy within the total Kennedy experience, commencing with the Irish immigration that brought the Kennedy and Fitzgerald families to the United States in the 1840's. He shows with particular deftness the many influences and counter-influences--ambition tempered by tenderness especially--that shaped Joseph Kennedy's children.
This was a political family. From the beginning, Edward Kennedy was, through the example of his older brothers and through their use of him in their various campaigns, "educated" in the ways of politics. He emerged, in the opinion of the Washington community, as probably the best politician among the brothers and certainly the best parliamentarian.
But Ted Kennedy was to become a man under bombardment. Sometimes his own actions brought it down; somtimes he was to suffer what can only seem the extremities of a cruel and tragic fate: his dismissal from Harvard, the murder of John Kennedy, the severe stroke that was to incapacitate his father for his last eight years, his near-fatal plane crash, the murder of Robert Kennedy. Finally, Chappaquiddick, here dealt with indefinitive detail.
There has never been a book of this stature and depth about a living American leader--his origins, his life by the day, his workings within the very guts of government. The Education of Edward Kennedy is a triumph of biography and of history. It is, now, indispensable to an understanding of this foremost of American political families; it will assuredly continue to be so.« less