Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography

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9780061843716: Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography

Edward M. Kennedy is one of the most influential senators in Congress. For the last 35 years, he′s played a major role in events ranging from the Vietnam War to Supreme Court confirmations. He′s also been closely associated with issues such as health care, civil rights and campaign finance reform. More than the foremost lawmaker and best orator in the Senate, he′s enthralled (and disappointed) a generation who saw him as the keeper of his famous brothers′ flame. He′s seen America -- and her politics -- change in drastic ways. In this definitive biography, New York Times Washington Editor Adam Clymer draws an in-depth portrait of this complex man. Through interviews with Kennedy, and the people close to him, he places Kennedy′s career in a historical perspective, and observes how Kennedy′s personal life has affected his political performance. The Senator has dealt with his infamous legacy, struggled to overcome the Chappaquiddick incident, and handled spectacular failures as well as many truimphs. He′s one of the few old-fashioned liberals who has held the Democratic Party to its principles, and is a hero to many. This is a unique, enormously readable chronicle of one of the most fascinating political figures of our time.

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Review:

Adam Clymer, in his lengthy biography of Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, understands that his subject is simultaneously one of the most loved and most hated figures in American politics. Clymer nevertheless pours on the praise, calling the Massachusetts Democrat "a lawmaker of skill, experience, and purpose rarely surpassed since 1789." Clymer, Washington editor for The New York Times, also recognizes that Kennedy has never fulfilled his great ambition--to become president--because he stood far to the left of the public as much as because of personal controversy. Yet Jack and Bobby's kid brother has forged a remarkable career in the Senate, where he has become one of its longest-serving members and arguably the most influential senator of the 20th century. Even Kennedy's conservative enemies don't question his dogged persistence and ability to advance his goals through slow-paced reform. He is maddeningly effective, especially when it comes to "finding Republicans to work with and sharing the credit, or even letting them have it all." Clymer's book is engrossing, although it occasionally gets bogged down in legislative intricacies (chapter titles: "Creating Disability Rights" and "More Incremental Health Care Progress"). It's a compelling study of a man whose enormous political skills are routinely overshadowed by his own foibles. In the end, however, Clymer grows positively rhapsodic: "He deserves recognition not just as the leading Senator of his time, but as one of the greats in history." --John J. Miller

About the Author:

Adam Clymer covered Congress as Washington correspondent for the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun, beginning in 1963, the year after Edward Kennedy was elected to the Senate. He has written for The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. Clymer lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 221 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Edward M. Kennedy is one of the most influential senators in Congress. For the last 35 years, he s played a major role in events ranging from the Vietnam War to Supreme Court confirmations. He s also been closely associated with issues such as health care, civil rights and campaign finance reform. More than the foremost lawmaker and best orator in the Senate, he s enthralled (and disappointed) a generation who saw him as the keeper of his famous brothers flame. He s seen America -- and her politics -- change in drastic ways. In this definitive biography, New York Times Washington Editor Adam Clymer draws an in-depth portrait of this complex man. Through interviews with Kennedy, and the people close to him, he places Kennedy s career in a historical perspective, and observes how Kennedy s personal life has affected his political performance. The Senator has dealt with his infamous legacy, struggled to overcome the Chappaquiddick incident, and handled spectacular failures as well as many truimphs. He s one of the few old-fashioned liberals who has held the Democratic Party to its principles, and is a hero to many. This is a unique, enormously readable chronicle of one of the most fascinating political figures of our time. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780061843716

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