“The Kennedys of Massachusetts: Founding Father Joseph Patrick Kennedy’s (1888-1969) Influence on U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917-63) and U.S. Senators Robert F. Kennedy (1925-68) and Edward M. Kennedy (1932-).”
Dialogue Given to Book Review Group, Uplands Retirement Village, Pleasant Hill, TN, June 15, 2009, by Franklin and Betty J. Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept. 6, 1888, East Boston, Massachusetts. Newborn Joseph Patrick Kennedy (Joe Sr.) would father 9 Irish Catholic children (4 sons, 5 daughters), mold them into a powerful political family. Three sons became U.S. senators, the first of the three became U.S. president.
First an Overview. Joe Sr., aided by his wife Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890-1995), firmly yet lovingly raised, cajoled, commanded their 9 children to be first, best (second best did not count) in school, sports, politics, public service.
Joe determined to get rich quickly to finance a political dynasty. Why? For prestige, power, influence. To speed his way and his 4 sons’ way to high office. For his daughters to marry advantageously. To enhance Kennedy fame and influence.
Joe Sr. skirted the law while appearing respectable. He kept family life separate from business and sexual escapades. His children reflected his aggressive ways, yet each child changed.
His first-born favorite, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (Joe, Jr., 1915-44), was groomed to become the first Irish Catholic President (pretentious but true).
Second born John F. Kennedy, called Jack, 2 years younger, had every childhood disease. He nearly died of scarlet fever. His later illnesses and back trouble (one leg was half an inch shorter than the other) were misdiagnosed, mistreated until 1947, age 30, when he was correctly diagnosed with life-threatening Addison’s disease.
Jack’s ailments, hospitalizations, medicines, short life expectancy, and three Catholic last rites were kept quiet to protect his political future. His later healthy bronze appearance came from medicines, malaria, and the Florida sun.
Yet his bright boyish looks, smile, flippant good humor drew people to him. He had rare charisma. The Kennedy children seemed to say, we are special, smart, help each other, stick together; are first, best, and will be important in public life.
Joe Sr. evaded the World War I draft. Before World War II he was a Hitler appeaser. Yet each of the 4 sons served in the military. Joe Jr. enlisted before Pearl Harbor, became a Navy pilot, died a hero piloting a dynamite-laden plane which exploded Aug. 12, 1944, targeting a Nazi rocket launch site.
Leadership then fell to Jack, also a WW II decorated hero. His PT-109 (Patrol Boat) in the Solomon Islands was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. Two crewmen died. Jack helped save the remaining 11.
At war’s end, Jack reluctantly entered politics, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1947-53), the U.S. Senate (1953-60), and the U.S. presidency during 1,036 days of Cold War crises. Jack’s election victories, including his razor-thin 1960 presidential win over Richard Nixon, occurred largely through Joe Sr.’s money and connivance.
Cold War warrior Jack turned toward peaceful coexistence with the Soviets early in his short presidency, after the April 17, 1961, bungled anti-Castro Bay of Pigs invasion, planned by Pres. Eisenhower’s CIA, and during the Oct. 1962 near-nuclear war over the Cuban Missile crisis, both described later.
Bobby Kennedy too changed: from fierce U.S. Congressional investigator of mafia bosses, to hard-driving manager of Jack’s election campaigns, to–as U.S. Attorney General–Jack’s protector, adviser, and secret emissary to help defuse Cold War crises. Later, as Senator, then as presidential hopeful, Bobby inspired millions of have-nots with hope.
Last-born Ted (Edward M. Kennedy, 1932-) lost public respect at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, July 18, 1969. Leaving a night-time party with Mary Jo Kopechne, 28, Ted’s car skidded off a bridge, overturned in water. Mary Jo, trapped inside, died.
Ted escaped but lost his chance to be president. He has since been a hard working, long serving U.S. Senator, hailed by some as the last liberal lion.
End of Overview.
Now patriarch Joe Sr.: born and about to be named for his father, Patrick Joseph Kennedy, when his mother, Mary Augusta née Hickey Kennedy (1857-1923), said no, Patrick is too Irish; name him Joseph Patrick Kennedy. Save him from prejudice as seen on help-wanted signs: “N-I-N-A,” No Irish Need Apply.
Old Protestant Mayflower elites controlled Boston society and finance. Yet at Joe’s birth Boston’s Irish grew in political strength. Joe Sr.’s East Boston-born father, a stevedore, saloon owner, ward boss, and state legislator helped needy immigrants. In return they gave him their votes. A Democratic Party king-maker he was part owner of Boston’s first Irish-owned bank.
Little Joe made his own money selling newspapers, peanuts, candy on East Boston docks. On Jewish holy days he lit stoves for observing Jews. He attended the elite Boston Latin School (1901-08) and Harvard College, excelled socially and in baseball, dated beautiful Rose, daughter of popular politician John F. Fitzgerald (1863-1950), called Honey Fitz.
Joe cultivated classmates and roommates most likely to help him later in business. He eased his way academically by sending, through his father, cases of Haig & Haig and Scotch whiskey to his professors. To Joe, winning, being first, was everything.
After graduation, as Assistant State Bank Examiner, Joe learned how to use inside information. He bought a failing investment bank, shifted its holdings to defaulted home mortgages, repainted vacated houses, sold them at high prices.
To prevent a hostile takeover of his father’s bank, Joe borrowed money from family, stopped the takeover, became the bank’s president, married Rose. The Boston Herald headlined: “Bank President at the Age of 25.” Joe learned how to influence the press, whom to befriend, what favors to call in, what threats to use. He told his children: things don’t just happen; you make them happen.
Joe’s gifts of liquor and money kept the Kennedy name prominent and clean. His gift list or pay-off list included New York Times journalist Arthur Krock (1886-1974); Time magazine writer Hugh Sidey (1927-2005); press lords William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951); Time, Life, Fortune‘s Henry R. Luce (1898-1967).
Seeking exemption from WW I army draft and using political pull, Joe became assistant manager of Bethlehem Ship-Building dockyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. The shipyard built destroyers for the Allies, one of which was behind in payment. Joe refused delivery.
U.S. Navy Assistant Secretary Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR, 1882-1945) visited Quincy to break the impasse. FDR said: Now Joe we need those destroyers. I’m going to send tug boats to get them, escorted by U.S. marines. Joe had to comply.
After WW I, Joe joined Boston’s best investment company, Hayden, Stone; then opened his own office next to Hayden, Stone to better trade using its name. He manipulated the market with a pool of traders. They traded particular stocks back and forth among themselves, raising the stock’s price ever higher.
The trading public, seeing the stock’s unusual rise, bought wildly, bidding up its price. At an agreed upon high price, pool members sold out. The stock price fell, public investors lost, Joe and pool members were enriched. Joe told a friend: “…it’s so easy to make money in the market we’d better [cash in] before they pass a law against it.”
During Prohibition (1920-33) Joe bought liquor from overseas, had it shipped to off-shore islands, from which criminals transported it to speakeasies. Joe sold liquor long after Prohibition, stored it for later sales, used liquor as gifts and bribes.
Joe first bought 31 small New England movie houses. Attracted by movie money, glitz, and available showgirls, he opened a Hollywood office, bought a struggling studio, made it profitable producing low budget Tom Mix westerns and Rin-tin-tin-type dog pictures popular with small town moviegoers.
In Hollywood (1919-35) Joe made films, acquired more theaters, bought Pathé News, formed RKO, first studio to make all-talking movies. He had a Hollywood love affair with glamorous movie actress Gloria Swanson (1897-1983). She was 28, married to her third husband. Joe, 38, was smitten.
Rose tolerated Joe’s many dalliances. In 1920, a pregnant Rose left her 3 children with servants for a trial separation in her father’s house. Honey Fitz told her: Your children need you; your husband needs you…. If you need more help…get it. If you need a bigger house, ask for it. If you need more private time for yourself, take it…. ”
Rose returned to Joe and the children. After ninth-born Ted she insisted on separate bedrooms.
Rose would always be Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy; enjoy the children’s achievement; keep them active, thriving, striving; enjoy the Kennedy fortune, travel in style, live in grandeur, find comfort in church ritual.
In 1927 Joe moved the family from Boston to the Bronx suburb of Riverdale near the Hudson River. He later bought homes in Hyannis Port, Cape Cod, (summers), in Palm Beach, FL (winters), and in MD near Washington, DC, to entertain politicians and media people.
Joe attributed his move to New York to Brahmin anti-Irish prejudice. When a Boston newspaper kept referring to him as “Irish Catholic,” he complained: What do you have to do to be called an American! I was born here. My father was born here. My daughters have no chance in Boston society.
A hidden reason for moving to New York was shame. To prevent takeover of his father’s bank, Joe, had borrowed money from relatives whom he never repaid.
Joe anticipated the 1929 Wall Street crash. He saved, actually increased, his fortune. He foresaw lengthy socio-economic upheavals of the Great Depression and said in 1930: “…in the next generation the people who run the government will be the biggest people in America.”
Joe raised big money for NY Governor FDR’s campaign as Democratic presidential candidate. At the Chicago June 1932 Democratic convention Joe saw that if FDR was not nominated on the first ballot, another compromise candidate would be chosen. He phoned newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst, in San Simeon, California: we’re deadlocked. Release the 86 votes you control to FDR.
Wanting but denied the Treasury Secretary post, Joe accepted the first chairmanship (1934-35) of newly created Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate Wall St. abuses. Advisors warned FDR: Joe is Wall St.’s worst crook. FDR laughed: I’m getting a crook to catch crooks. Critics later admitted that Joe did a good job correcting Wall St. abuses.
FDR next named Joe to head the U.S. Maritime Commission (1936-37). Thinking that war was likely, FDR wanted Joe in this post to strengthen U.S. private cargo-carrying capability. Joe succeeded.
Joe next wanted to be U.S. Ambassador to Britain, a prestige post for himself and family. He lobbied for it through FDR’s eldest son James (Jimmy) Roosevelt (1907-91) by aiding Jimmy’s Boston insurance business. Jimmy told FDR. Knowing Joe’s presidential ambitions, FDR thought: best keep Joe in London under State Department control.
Joe’s ambassadorship (1938-40) topped his political career. Britishers first admired Joe’s blunt talk and his large photogenic family. The Kennedys were presented to the King and Queen; spent a weekend at Windsor Castle. Invaluable to Joe Jr. and Jack was being sent as ambassadorial aides on fact-finding trips through Hitler’s Europe, Stalin’s USSR, Franco’s Spain.
Joe’s mistake was to go beyond the dominant isolationism of the time. He unwisely publicly backed appeasers Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1863-1937); Nazi Luftwaffe admirer Charles Lindbergh (1902-74) then living in England; U.S. born Lady Nancy Astor’s pro-Hitler, anti-Semitic following.
Fearing a Nazi invasion, Britishers disliked Joe’s public remarks that democracies could and should coexist with dictatorships. He was labeled dangerous, his phone was tapped when he told the press that democracy was finished in England and would soon be finished in the U.S. if they became involved in Europe’s wars.
Joe sent his family home for safety. He moved himself away from London bombing. FDR won reelection. Joe resigned. Out of public office, his chance at the U.S. presidency lost, Joe went home, dreading WW II’s effect on his children and fortune.
We now switch to a bare bones time line: 1940, June: Jack graduated from Harvard. At Joe Sr.’s urging and with New York Times journalist Arthur Krock’s editing, Jack rewrote his Harvard senior thesis, “Appeasement at Munich” (on why England was unprepared for WW II), had it published as Why England Slept, a bestseller.
1941: Joe Jr. enlisted in the Navy; became an experienced naval fighter pilot. Jack, despite health problems, with Joe, Sr.’s help, passed a helpful Boston physician’s physical exam for navy acceptance. Assigned to Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C., Jack had a torrid love affair there with Danish-born Inga Arva (1913-73) falsely suspected of being a Nazi spy.
The FBI alerted Joe Sr., who ended the affair, and had Jack transferred. After more training, Lt. Jack, wanting war action, became a PT (Patrol Boat) skipper.
Still 1941: Mentally backward third born first daughter Rosemary Kennedy (1918-2005), then 23, became uncontrollable. Believing a frontal lobotomy might help Rosemary, Joe ordered it done without consulting Rose. The procedure failed. Rosemary’s condition worsened. Institutionalized, seldom mentioned, she was a hidden Kennedy tragedy.
1943: Recovering from his war injuries, Jack was awarded two medals for his PT 109 heroism. Still 1943, Oct. 5, Bobby, nearly 18, enlisted in the Naval Reserve.
1944: May 6. Second daughter “Kick” (nickname for Kathleen), a Red Cross worker in England, married a British lord, William Cavendish (1917-44). Four months later he died in battle. Another family tragedy.
Still 1944: A worse tragedy on Aug. 12, 1944. Joe Jr.’s plane, on a secret mission, exploded. He was awarded a posthumous Naval Cross. Joe Sr. induced the Navy to name a destroyer USS Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr., on which Bobby Kennedy in 1946 served as seaman.
1945: Jack, out of the Navy, as a Hearst journalist covered the birth of the United Nations in San Francisco and politics in Britain. Still 1945, Nov.: Joe Sr. consolidated much of his fortune to buy Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, the world’s largest privately owned rent-producing building.
1946: Jack, thin, gaunt from illness aggravated by war wounds, won his first elected office to the U.S. House of Representatives. He assembled a good staff, met his constituents’ needs, read, thought, prepared himself for his time of destiny.
1947: Fall: Jack, age 30, ill in London, was for the first time accurately diagnosed with Addison’s disease, a hormonal disorder that causes fatigue, weakens the immune system, usually leads to early death.
1948: Bobby Kennedy, Harvard College graduate, entered the University of Virginia law school. Still 1948, May 13: “Kick” (for Kathleen), widowed in 1944, was engaged to another British nobleman, Peter Fitzwilliam (1910-48). She was killed with him in a plane crash over southern France. Another Kennedy tragedy.
1950: Ted Kennedy, then 18, entered Harvard College. Next year, 1951, he was caught cheating (another student took his Spanish exam for him). He was expelled. Ted enlisted in the Army, served as an MP (Military Police) in Germany, returned to finish at Harvard, and entered the University of Virginia law school.
1952: Jack’s leap from the House to the Senate. Jack challenged incumbent Massachusetts Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (1902-85), well known Brahmin, WW II hero, favored to win on the coattails of the unbeatable Republican presidential contender General Dwight Eisenhower.
Still 1952: Undeterred, Jack targeted women voters. Jack’s sister Eunice held hundreds of campaign teas. Thousands of women of all ages flocked to Kennedy teas; were wooed by Jack’s movie star charisma. Lodge later blamed his defeat on those darned teas. More important than the teas was Joe’s large loan to Boston Post’s owner John Fox, a diehard Republican and Lodge supporter. The Boston Post’s switch from Lodge to Jack enabled Jack’s narrow win.
1953, January: Bobby Kennedy became a lawyer for a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating communists in government, chaired by controversial Wisconsin Republican Joseph McCarthy (1908-57). McCarthy hired Bobby because Joe Sr. had contributed to McCarthy’s election.
After McCarthy’s wild unsubstantiated charges ruined patriotic Americans’ careers, the U.S. Senate voted to censure him. Senator Jack Kennedy, not wanting to censure a family friend, did not vote. He was then having life-threatening back surgery. Critics later faulted Jack for not voting by proxy.
Still 1953, September 12: Bachelor Jack, 36, married Jacqueline Bouvier (1929-94), called Jackie. She was well educated at Vassar College, had a junior year at French universities, earned a degree from George Washington University, D.C., where she worked as a photojournalist. She met Jack at a friend’s home. Jack, busy campaigning for his first 1952 U.S. Senate seat, knew that as a Senator and presidential hopeful he needed a wife.
Joe Sr. liked Jackie. She tolerated the noisy active Kennedys. But like Rose with Joe, Jackie knew of, was hurt by, but tolerated Jack’s womanizing. They had daughter Caroline (1957-), son John, Jr. (1960-99). She lost two other babies, one at birth, the second soon after birth.
She was a much loved First Lady, and after his assassination, created, with writer Theodore White (1915-86) the Kennedy “Camelot” myth.
1955: Recovering from his second back surgery, Jack reflected on the meaning of courage. He read intensely on past courageous U.S. Senators who from conscience and principle voted against majority opinion, knowing their vote might end their careers. Jack’s resulting 1956 book, Profiles in Courage, won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for biography.
When critics charged that Jack’s speech writer Theodore Sorenson (1928-) was Jack’s ghost writer, Jack and Sorensen showed book drafts to prove that, despite research and editing helpers, Jack was the sole author.
1956, Aug. 16. Chicago’s televised Democratic presidential convention. Jack introduced, to wild acclaim, its nominee, Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson (1900-65). Stevenson threw the choice of a running mate to the convention. Jack, in the running, lost to Tennessee’s Estes Kefauver.
Jack’s father had told him: don’t run with Stevenson. Eisenhower will win reelection. The Democrat’s loss will be blamed on your Catholicism. Jack later said Dad was right, but by getting himself noticed in 1956 he positioned himself better for a 1960 presidential run.
1957: Bobby Kennedy became chief prosecuting lawyer for the U.S. Senate Rackets Committee investigating criminal use of labor union retirement funds. Bobby’s relentless pursuit of Jimmy Hoffa’s (1913-75) teamsters’ union and major criminals gave him national TV exposure. It also made many underworld figures hate the Kennedys.
1960, Jan. 2: Jack’s Race for the Presidency. Jack’s Catholicism was tested when in the Wisconsin primary he won few Protestant votes. He defused the anti Catholic bias in Protestant West Va. and in Houston, TX, where he told Protestant ministers: I am bound by the U.S. Constitution, not by the Catholic church. As Democratic presidential nominee., July 13, 1960, Jack began the race for the White House.
Still 1960, Sept. 26: CBS TV, Chicago. First of Jack’s 4 debates with Republican Richard Nixon (1913-94), Vice President for 8 years, more experienced, better known. But Nixon had a 5 o’clock shadow, perspired, seemed ill at ease. On TV Jack looked youthful, handsome, intelligent. Jack won by a razor thin 118,000 votes, becoming the 35th U.S. president, youngest (age 43) ever elected, first Roman Catholic. Jack’s narrow win, say critics, came from Joe Sr.’s money, spread in W. Va. and Chicago by Mafia boss Sam Giancana (1908-75).
1961, Jan. 20, Washington, DC, Jack’s inauguration, a freezing sunny winter’s day, pomp and ceremony. Jack’s most soaring words: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” And less remembered: “My fellow citizens of the world…ask not what America can do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
Jack, in an open limousine, Jackie by his side, was driven past the reviewing stand. Jack stood, locked eyes with his father, tipped his top hat. Tears welled. A moment to remember.
Still 1961, March 1: Jack created the Peace Corps. On May 25 Jack set a national goal: to land a man on the moon and return him to earth before the end of the 1960s. 1961, April 17: Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, planned under Eisenhower.
Jack, newly elected, inexperienced, believed CIA advisers: that Florida-based U.S. Army-trained anti-Castro Cubans would invade Cuba to install a friendly government atlow risk. Jack approved; was shocked when alerted Castro’s superior force killed 114 invaders, captured and jailed 1,189 others.
Fearing a possible nuclear exchange with Russia, Jack stopped a planned U.S. Air Force cover for the Bay of Pigs invaders. He was sorry he had not canceled the illegal invasion. This failed Cuban invasion plus other Kennedy provocations, some believe, triggered angers leading to Jack and Bobby’s assassinations.
Still 1961, June 3-4: Jack’s talks with Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) in Vienna went badly. Jack told an intimate: Khrushchev thought me young, inexperienced, naïve. He wiped the floor with me. 1961, August: Khrushchev built the Berlin wall dividing East Berlin from West Berlin. 1961, Dec 19: Joe Sr. suffered a stroke, was partially paralyzed, wheelchair bound, unable to speak except for a guttural drawn out “No.”
1962, Oct. 16-28: Jack was shown photos of Russian missile sites being built in Cuba. Why did Khrushchev do this? Fear of another U.S. invasion of Cuba; fear that the CIA would assassinate Castro; fear of U.S. missiles in Turkey aimed at Russia; fear of U.S. in West Berlin, an escape hatch for needed East German workers.
Still 1962. Assembling a top secret advisory Executive Committee, led by his brother Bobby, Jack kept to his schedule but frequently met with them.
Option 1, urged by military extremists: air strikes to bomb the sites. But air strikes invite retaliation, might provoke nuclear war.
Option 2, urged by moderates: blockade Cuba, stop and search approaching Russian ships. But blockade is an act of war; better call it “quarantine.”
Option 3, which Jack secretly used, covert diplomacy. Jack sent Bobby to negotiate with the Soviet ambassador and a Soviet secret agent close to Khrushchev: Russia to remove its Cuba missiles in exchange for Pres. Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba and later quietly to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey. Khrushchev removed the missiles, Moscow-Washington, DC hotline was installed. Jack, relieved, said: thank God for Bobby.
1963, Nov. 22: Dallas, Texas. Jack, accompanied by Jackie, went to Texas to heal a liberal-conservative split among Texas Democrats whose votes he needed for his second term election. Politicians visiting volatile Texas had recently been roughed up. “We’re headed for nut country,” Jack told Jackie.
Despite some heckling signs, Jack was well received in San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth. In Dallas, driving in an open limousine through cheering crowds, Democratic Gov. John Connally’s (1917-93) wife Nellie, sitting in the front seat with her husband looked back, said to Jack: Mr. President, you can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you.
The limo slowed down in Dealey Plaza past the Texas Book Depository. Crack. A bullet entered the back of Jack’s neck, exiting his Adam’s apple, into Connally. Jack, his hands to his throat, slumped. Two more shots, the last one took off part of his skull and brains. Dead at Parkland Hospital. A stunned nation. The world mourned.
1963-68: Numbed by Jack’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy wrestled with his faith, was heard to cry, Why, God? Why? He cared for widowed Jackie and her two children; oversaw Jack’s funeral; left the Lyndon Johnson (1908-73) administration; was elected U.S. Senator from NY in 1964; in early 1968 ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The evening after winning the California primary, he thanked followers in Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, exited with a crowd through the hotel kitchen. Shots were fired. Bobby died.
The adoration thrust upon him, Bobby knew, was really for martyred Jack. Yet Bobby’s touch was magical too. His was an unfulfilled promise. Had he lived, won the presidency, there would have been no Nixon, no Watergate, a likely Vietnam resolution, a better U.S. and world.
1968-present: Lastly there’s Ted. Jack, before winning the U.S. presidency had the Massachusetts governor appoint Jack’s Harvard roommate to his (Jack’s) senate seat. Ted, in 1962, at age 30, minimum age for a senator, ran for and won Jack’s seat. In 1980 Ted halfheartedly sought the Democratic presidential nomination. He lost to Pres. Jimmy Carter. Abandoning presidential hopes, Ted, already a successful senator, focused on human rights and health legislation. His brain cancer evoked much sympathy and admiration. Even Republican John McCain called him “the last lion.”
Now, some brief conclusions. Joe Sr. looms large because he, with Rose’s help, directed the children’s lives, made it all possible. The sons always asked themselves: what would Dad want me to do? Betty, how would you characterize the Kennedy brothers?
Founding father Joe drove his sons toward high achievement. What Joe Jr. would have become and done we don’t know. Jack, who carried on Joe Jr.’s political drive, was the most visionary, achieved the most in his short time as president. Bobby, the most sensitive, absorbed the best from Jack.
Ted, the muddled youngster, grew the most, redeemed himself by long service to the mass of have-nots. Jack’s, Bobby’s, Ted’s virtues and contributions outshone their many faults and misdemeanors. They helped overcome the sins of the father. Frank, what did we learn in this study of the Kennedys of Massachusetts?
That good often comes from bad. That robber baron Joe Sr. was a taker, his sons became givers, healers. We learned about Wall Street shenanigans; about the 1930s Great Depression; how fascist dictators provoked WW II, that isolationism is self defeating in an interconnected world; about the Cold War, about nuclear threat; about Jack and Bobby (did they herald the explosive 1960s?); about Ted, a sinner becoming noble through his long crusade to uplift the have-nots. A good study to do—with you.
And I with you (shake hands). Thank you for being here. END.
Books Read for this Paper
Clymer, Adam. Edward M. Kennedy: a Biography. NY: William Morrow & Co., 1999.
Collier, Peter and David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama. NY: Summit Books, 1984. (Detailed, very good).
Dallek, Robert. An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963. Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press, 2003. (Deservedly ranked high by critics)
Douglass, James W. JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why It Matters. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008. (Influenced by Thomas Merton, Catholic theologian author’s strong conspiracy scenario says JFK was killed by a powerful cabal of war profiteers because Cold War Warrior JFK changed to peacemaker as U.S. president and in a second term would have curtailed U.S. war profiteer influence).
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1987. (Excellent, readable, original sources; author of much praised Team of Rivals, on Lincoln’s cabinet).
Goodwin, Richard N. Remembering America: A Voice From the Sixties. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1988. (JFK’s intimate, staff member, writer on Latin Americans; husband of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin).
Harrison, Barbara and Daniel Terris. A Twilight Struggle: The Life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. NY: Lothrop, Lee &Shepard Books, 1992. (Authors were researchers on Home Box Office documentary, “JFK In His Own Words”).
Hersh, Seymour M. The Dark Side of Camelot. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1997. (Critical of the heroic caste placed on the Kennedys).
Johnson, Chalmers. Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. NY: Henry Holt, 2006, p. 96. (Insights into U.S. imperial treatment of Castro’s Cuba, Eisenhower, JFK eras).
Kennedy, Joseph P., Sr. Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy. Amadanda Smith, Ed. NY: Viking, 2001. (Shows patriarch’s warmer family side).
Kennedy, Robert F. Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis; With Introductions by Robert S. McNamara and Harold Macmillan. NY: Franklin Watts, 1969. (Day-by-day account by key player, with related documents).
Kessler, Ronald. Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded. NY: Warner Books, 1996. (Most “tell all” critic of patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy by Boston Herald’s 20+-year police reporter, investigative reporter, and editorial writer; interviewed many Kennedy intimates).
Koskoff, David E. Joseph P. Kennedy: A Life and Times. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1974. (Good solid work).
Krock, Arthur. Memoirs: Sixty Years on the Firing Line. NY: Funk &Wagnalls, 1968. (Influential New York Times journalist and head of its Washington News Bureau, who was on Joe Sr.’s pay roll to make the Kennedys look good. Like Joe Sr’s other intimates he was dropped when he fell out of favor).
Leamers, Laurence. The Kennedy Men, 1901-1963, the Laws of the Father. NY: HarperCollins, 2001. (Good account of the male Kennedys).
Lifton, Robert Jay, and Richard Falk. Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case Against Nuclearism. NY: Basic Books, 1982. (Chap. 17, pp. , 228f, brief insightful 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis account shows how close Khrushchev-JFK came to WW III, pressured less over defense of national territory, reacting more from home critics; Khrushchev by military-political critics for allowing U.S.-anti-Communist advances; JFK by Republicans in a Congressional election year for weak foreign policy and bungling efforts to eliminate Castro. Good on JFK’s secret back door diplomacy with Khrushchev and Khrushchev’s accepting the humility of removing the missiles).
Maier, Thomas. The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings. NY: Basic Books, 2003. (Considerable details on the Kennedys; best on Kennedys’ Irish origins and connections).
Manchester, William. Remembering Kennedy: One Brief Shining Moment. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1983. (Jackie frowned on parts of this book).
Perret, Geoffrey. Jack: A Life Like No Other. NY: Random House, 2001. (Useful).
Shaw, Mark. The John F. Kennedys.: A Family Album. NY: Farrar, Straus, 1964. (Photo rich).
Smith, Sally Bedell Smith. Grace and Power: The Private World of The Kennedy White House. NY: Random House, 2004. (Having both a rake-like father and husband, Jacqueline Kennedy—though hurt– loved, understood, forgave both; JFK steadily learned how wonderfully valuable Jackie was in his career).
Sommer, Shelley. John F. Kennedy: His Life and Legacy. NY: HarperCollins, 2005. (Introduction by JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy cites his early reading of great lives with leading him to leadership to improve people’s lives. Author worked 14 years with younger visitors at John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston).
Taubman, William. Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. NY: W.W. Norton & Co, 2003 (See Index for Bay of Pigs; Berlin Crisis; Central Intelligence Agency; Cuba Missile Crisis; Kennedy, John F.; related topics).
Thomas, Evan. Robert Kennedy: His Life. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2000. (Excellent, balanced).
Thompson, Robert E. and Hortense Myers, Robert F. Kennedy: The Brother Within. NY: Macmillan Co., 1962. (Early account which did not have access to Bobby Kennedy’s papers).
Internet Sources for: Kennedys of Massachusetts
2. John F. Kennedy (1917-63) Photos: Part One: The Early Years: Source: http://www.historyplace.com/kennedy/early.htm
3. Bay of Pigs, April 17, 1961: date Sources: http://library.thinkquest.org/11046/days/bay_of_pigs.html
and: http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~mhunter/ pigs.htm
4. Miller Center on JFK and related topics: http://millercenter.org/academic/americanpresident/kennedy/essays/biography/print
5. Articles on JFK by Robert Dallek, author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963. Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press, 2003, especially good on JFK’s illnesses:
6. Over 100 articles on the the Kennedy family: Source: http://search.americanheritage.com/search?q=Kennedy+family+of+Massachusetts&
7. Time Lines of Kennedy family of Massachusetts: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&q=Time+Line%2C+Kennedy+family+of+Massachusetts&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=
About the Authors: For authors’ bio-sketch and to access their many articles in blog form type in google.com (or other search engine) Franklin Parker or Franklin & Betty J. Parker or email@example.com
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