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The Kennedys: An American Drama by Peter…

The Kennedys: An American Drama (1984)

by Peter Collier, David Horowitz

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Peter Collier and David Horowitz were comrades of the New Left--former radicals who over time moved to the right. This was written during the time they had absorbed some of the lessons of the sixties, but hadn't become active in trying to undo the damage. That is to say, I think they were by this time neither people trying to burnish the Kennedy image nor people who were trying to tear them down. I think this is a thoughtful, readable portrait of a family that doesn't pull its punches, but still manages to show empathy for their subject and evidently well-researched--they spent years researching this and interviewing members of the family and those involved with them. And it's engaging from beginning to end covering three generations from Joe Senior to his grandchildren up to the 1980s. All of which makes for a good biography. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 5, 2013 |
This is definitely a worthy "sequel" to a book like "The FitzGeralds and the Kennedys". FotK chronicles the classic immigrant story, while KaAD chronicles the same family as it falls into chaos in the 70s.

It's well documented and pulls no punches, but remains sympathetic to the "third generation" of Kennedy children, providing a point of view that seems as if the authors were actually there for all of it. It really follows Robert Kennedy's children, who did not have the good luck that Caroline and John did in having a sensible mother and the whole world adoring them.

Ethel Kennedy couldn't handle raising eleven children alone. She either behaved cruelly towards them or she ignored them completely, and they sort of went feral. The book focusses the most on Robert Junior, the wild one who carried around a pet falcon and once rode the rails like a hobo, and beautiful, fragile David, the only one of the children to witness his father being shot. David descends into drug abuse and dies, while Robert works through his issues in his own time and grows up to become an environmental activist.

In spite of the shocking events of the book, the Kennedy children who survived grew up to be passionate liberal political activists and leaders (except the late Michael, but nobody seems to know what happened there). They're a great example of how people can overcome the past to go on to do great things, and a great example of the priviledged giving more than they take. ( )
2 vote babydraco | Jun 15, 2007 |
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Peter Collierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Horowitz, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671447939, Hardcover)

A national bestseller based on hundreds of interviews with family members and associates, archival research, and previously unused sources reveals the all-too-human saga behind a high profile political family. Reprint.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:15 -0400)

Recounts in detail the family lives of members of the Kennedy clan, including the drug-taking and other dilemmas of the rising generation.

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