American Experience - The Kennedys (Complete Set)

9781415702604: American Experience - The Kennedys (Complete Set)

The Kennedy family, the great American political dynasty, is examined in considerable detail in this "American Experience" documentary. Hosted by historian David McCullough, the production features a host of experts on the Kennedy clan, including author Doris Kearns Goodwin, the late Speaker of the House Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, and special counsel/speechwriter Theodore Sorenson, as well as a number of family friends and colleagues who served in political campaigns. The story begins with patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy, who suffered discrimination at Harvard and spent the rest of his life getting even with those who had slighted him. After making a fortune on Wall Street and in Hollywood in the boom of the 1920s, Kennedy became active in Roosevelt's New Deal, eventually becoming the U.S. ambassador to Britain. The father's political miscalculations ended his public role, but the seeds were sown for the political careers of his sons. Copious archival footage from television news organizations is used to present an intelligent and balanced look at Kennedy's performance in office, his rumored personal flaws, and his legacy. With President Kennedy's death, the political force in the family became his brother Robert, who would himself be cut down by an assassin as a senator running for president in 1968. The story winds down with the youngest Kennedy brother, Ted, becoming a powerful senator, but ultimately failing in his own attempt to run for the nation's highest office. The Kennedy family has always fascinated America, and this documentary does a fine job of going beyond the superficial glamour to examine the real workings of the family in politics, the sources of their motivation, and the way the family acted as a cohesive political unit. "--Robert J. McNamara"

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