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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings


The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Meticulously researched both here and abroad, THE KENNEDYS examines the Kennedy's as exemplars of the Irish Catholic experience. Beginning with Patrick Kennedy's arrival in the Brahmin world of Boston in 1848, Maier delves into the deeper currents of the often spectacular Kennedy story, and the ways in which their immigrant background shaped their values-and in turn twentieth-century America-for over five generations. As the first and only Roman Catholic ever elected to high national office in this country, JFK's pioneering campaign for president rested on a tradition of navigating a cultural divide that began when Joseph Kennedy shed the brogues of the old country in order to get ahead on Wall Street. Whether studied exercise in cultural self-denial or sheer pragmatism, their movements mirror that of countless of other, albeit less storied, American families. But as much as the Kennedys distanced themselves from their religion and ethnic heritage on the public stage, Maier shows how Irish Catholicism informed many of their most well-known political decisions and stances. From their support of civil rights, to Joe Kennedy's tight relationship with Pope Pius XII and FDR, the impact of their personal family history on the national scene is without question-and makes for an immensely compelling narrative. Bringing together extensive new research in both Ireland and the United States, several exclusive interviews, as well as his own perspective as an Irish-American, Maier's original approach to the Kennedy era brilliantly illustrates the defining role of the immigrant experience for the country's foremost political dynasty.


This is a portrait of America's favourite political dynasty as the ultimate Irish Catholic family - as well as a revelatory look at how the American immigrant experience shaped both their stunning success and spectacular tragedies.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 636-654) and index.

About the Author

Thomas Maier is a staff reporter at New York Newsday. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed Dr. Spock: An American Life, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in East Northport, New York.

Product Details

America's Emerald Kings A Five-Generation History of the Ultimate Irish-Catholic Family
Maier, Thomas
Maier, Thomas
Basic Books
New York
Historical - U.S.
Irish americans
Irish American families
General History
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
9.44x6.44x2.10 in. 2.63 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Political
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings Used Hardcover
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Product details 704 pages Basic Books - English 9780465043170 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is a portrait of America's favourite political dynasty as the ultimate Irish Catholic family - as well as a revelatory look at how the American immigrant experience shaped both their stunning success and spectacular tragedies.
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 636-654) and index.
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