The Kennedy Women: The Saga of an American Family

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9780449911716: The Kennedy Women: The Saga of an American Family

"A FRESH AND UNVARNISHED PORTRAIT OF A FASCINATING, TALENTED, AND DEEPLY FLAWED FAMILY."
—Boston Herald

Laurence Leamer was granted unheralded access to private Kennedy papers, and he interviewed family and old friends, many of whom had never been interviewed before, for this incredible portrait of the women in America’s "royal family." From Bridget Murphy, the foremother who touched shore at East Boston in 1849, to the intelligent, independent Kennedy women of today, Laurence Leamer tells their unforgettable stories.

Here are the private thoughts of Kathleen, the flirtatious debutante in prewar England . . . the truth behind Joe Kennedy’s insistence that his mildly retarded daughter, Rosemary, be lobotomized . . . the real story behind Joan and Ted’s whirlwind romance . . . Jackie’s desire for a divorce from JFK in the 1950s . . . Pat Lawford’s disastrous Hollywood marriage . . . how Caroline discovered her cousin David’s death by overdose, and more.

Tough enough to withstand the unimaginable, these Kennedy women soldier on in the name of their extraordinary family and what they believe is right.

"MASTERFUL . . . AN ENDLESSLY FASCINATING READ . . . A wealth of beautifully rendered social detail, at times reading like a realist novel by Edith Wharton . . . [A] page-turner from start to finish."
—The Dallas Morning News

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About the Author:

Laurence Leamer has written many bestsellers, including The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men, and Sons of Camelot. He lives in Washington, D.C. and Palm Beach, Florida.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Another Kennedy family saga, this one focusing on the women, from Irish forebears to feminist Rory Kennedy, daughter of Robert and Ethel. For Kennedy aficionados, much of the material is familiar. In 1849, immigrants Bridget Murphy and Patrick Kennedy met on the boat from Ireland. Nine years after their marriage, she was a widow with four children who worked as a domestic servant, then bought and ran a variety store. In some ways, for the women of the Kennedy family, Bridget's story is as inspiring as it gets. From Rose, who married Bridget's grandson, Joe, to some two dozen grandchildren, author Leamer (King of the Night, 1989) tells a story that is as sad as it is tragic, with Rose as its center. In the grip of the Roman Catholic Church--which saw the role of a woman as mother and moral center--Rose changed from an ambitious, lively, curious girl to a wife and mother whose emotions were rigidly controlled and whose mechanisms of denial so highly refined that she could accept her husband's lovers--notably Gloria Swanson--into her home. She passed much of that legacy on to her daughters Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Jean. Open displays of tenderness were reserved for Rosemary, the retarded child, who was lobotomized and institutionalized out of the public eye. Kathleen is captured as the American who enchanted English society until her death in a plane crash; Eunice as the most successful in building a life of her own. Pat and Jean were not so lucky. The prickly paths of the daughters-in-law--Jackie, Joan, and Ethel--are included here as well. Although the ambitions of many of Rose's granddaughters, including Maria Shriver and Caroline Kennedy, have been tempered by marriage and children, theirs is a generation that seems to have shaken off the chains of Kennedy women as victims of a moral dichotomy. By ferreting out new sources and new material and putting the familiar tales into a broader social context, Leamer gives a clearer if not always brighter picture of what it means to be a Kennedy woman. (32 pages of b&w photographs, family tree, not seen). -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Monumental in scope and extraordinary in sensitivity, The Kennedy Women chronicles five matrilineal generations in our nation s premier political dynasty. Not merely distinguished cultural history, it is a story of epic sweep, brimming with triumph and tragedy, courage and compliance, self-sacrifice and self-delusion. Moving from steerage on an immigrant vessel to the slums of Boston, from the Court of St. James s to the White House and beyond, The Kennedy Women paints startling, in-depth portraits of the mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters who stood beside some of the most dynamic men of the twentieth century through occasions of great opulence and heartbreak, victory and scandal. Among its revelations: how Rose s marriage almost ended on her wedding day; the poignantly detailed life stories of mentally challenged Rosemary and the glorious, lost Kathleen; Jackie s near death in the weeks before the inauguration; Eunice s struggle, despite chronic illness, to build the Special Olympics; a long-guarded account of Rose s response to Chappaquiddick; Jean Kennedy Smith s and the family s private reactions to the William Kennedy Smith rape charges; Jackie s gallant battle to live and die with dignity and privacy; and the unique challenges and pressures confronting future Kennedy matriarchs Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and Rory Kennedy. Here, finally, is the women s story; even those who feel they know all there is to know about the Kennedys will discover how much more there is to the story. For five years, Laurence Leamer researched this book, receiving unprecedented cooperation from family members,interviewing scores of relatives and close associates, gaining access to hundreds of personal documents. Included are thirty-two pages of rare and fascinating family photographs. The Kennedy Women combines exhaustive and superb scholarship with a gripping narrative that will alter forever o. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780449911716

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 208 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Monumental in scope and extraordinary in sensitivity, The Kennedy Women chronicles five matrilineal generations in our nation s premier political dynasty. Not merely distinguished cultural history, it is a story of epic sweep, brimming with triumph and tragedy, courage and compliance, self-sacrifice and self-delusion. Moving from steerage on an immigrant vessel to the slums of Boston, from the Court of St. James s to the White House and beyond, The Kennedy Women paints startling, in-depth portraits of the mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters who stood beside some of the most dynamic men of the twentieth century through occasions of great opulence and heartbreak, victory and scandal. Among its revelations: how Rose s marriage almost ended on her wedding day; the poignantly detailed life stories of mentally challenged Rosemary and the glorious, lost Kathleen; Jackie s near death in the weeks before the inauguration; Eunice s struggle, despite chronic illness, to build the Special Olympics; a long-guarded account of Rose s response to Chappaquiddick; Jean Kennedy Smith s and the family s private reactions to the William Kennedy Smith rape charges; Jackie s gallant battle to live and die with dignity and privacy; and the unique challenges and pressures confronting future Kennedy matriarchs Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and Rory Kennedy. Here, finally, is the women s story; even those who feel they know all there is to know about the Kennedys will discover how much more there is to the story. For five years, Laurence Leamer researched this book, receiving unprecedented cooperation from family members,interviewing scores of relatives and close associates, gaining access to hundreds of personal documents. Included are thirty-two pages of rare and fascinating family photographs. The Kennedy Women combines exhaustive and superb scholarship with a gripping narrative that will alter forever o. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780449911716

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