Sons of Camelot: The Fate of an American Dynasty

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9780066209654: Sons of Camelot: The Fate of an American Dynasty
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From the renowned biographer and national bestselling author of The Kennedy Women and The Kennedy Men comes the third volume in the epic multigenerational history of America's first family.

Sons of Camelot is the compelling story of the Kennedy sons and grandsons in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is the most intimate biography ever written about the Kennedys, with the cooperation of family and friends at a moment when they are ready to talk with insight and depth about their lives. Among the many stunning portraits in the book is the definitive account of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s life, including interviews with his ten closest friends, none of whom has ever talked to an author before.

Based on five years of rigorous research and unprecedented cooperation from the five surviving sons of Robert Kennedy, the four Shriver sons, Maria Shriver, and other Kennedys, Sons of Camelot is not only the most authoritative account, it is by far the most revealing book ever written about these lives. Falling far short of the great ambitions their patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, envisioned for his family, the lives of his youthful progeny are instead characterized by overwhelming drama full of exalted aspirations, notable achievements, and the most spectacular mishaps, excesses, and tragedies. Yet among them are those whose remarkable accomplishments have led to better lives for all Americans and for others around the world.

Heartbreaking and inspiring, Sons of Camelot is a spellbinding history of individuals and a family, a journey of character through time told by a brilliant, masterful writer.

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About the Author:

Laurence Leamer is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including The Kennedy Women and The Price of Justice. He has worked in a French factory and a West Virginia coal mine, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. His play, Rose, was produced off Broadway last year. He lives in Palm Beach, Florida, and Washington, D.C., with his wife, Vesna Obradovic Leamer.

From Publishers Weekly:

Picking up where his previous two bestsellers about the Kennedys left off, Leamer traces the clan's supposed downward spiral in the 40 years since John F. Kennedy's assassination. Early chapters concentrate on JFK's surviving brothers, but after Bobby's death and Ted's drive off the bridge at Chappaquiddick, the book eagerly delves into the sordid stories of the next generation. The title describes the book's focus exactly; though readers slog through detailed accounts of Robert Jr.'s environmental activism, no mention is made, for instance, of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg's legal scholarship (and there will apparently be no Daughters of Camelot). The women's absence leaves more room to describe how messed up the men were. Leamer dwells endlessly on addiction and self-destructive behavior, invoking sometimes dubious psychological theories about generational dynamics and genetic predispositions (does it matter if the Kennedys carry D4Dr, the "novelty-seeking" gene?). As one might expect, John Jr. disproportionately dominates the second half of the story. The tale, touching glancingly on matters covered in Edward Klein's recent exposé, is buttressed by interviews with several close friends who have never spoken about John Jr. for attribution before, though one wonders if even they could have the embarrassingly intimate familiarity with his sex life that Leamer professes. The prose is workmanlike, with occasional slips into mawkishness, but nobody will read this book for its style, and Leamer has wisely loaded it with more than enough scandal to satisfy audience expectations. 32 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
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