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True Compass: A Memoirby Edward M. Kennedy
Too long a late-night-comedy punch line, the late Senator Kennedy led an undeniably fascinating life. Filled with riveting stories and enlivened by Kennedy's refreshing candor, True Compass is a fitting tribute to a life that was almost too big for one book.
Synopses & Reviews
In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Edward M. Kennedy tells his extraordinary personal story — of his legendary family, politics, and fifty years at the center of national events. The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother John F. Kennedy, recounted here in loving detail. In 1962 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he began a fascinating political education and became a legislator. In this historic memoir, Ted Kennedy takes us inside his family, re-creating life with his parents and brothers and explaining their profound impact on him. For the first time, he describes his heartbreak and years of struggle in the wake of their deaths. Through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time — civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland — and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans, a fight influenced by his own experiences in hospitals. His life was marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love of family, and an abiding faith. There have been controversies, too, and Kennedy addresses them with unprecedented candor. At midlife, embattled and uncertain if he would ever fall in love again, he met the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. Facing a tough reelection campaign against an aggressive challenger named Mitt Romney, Kennedy found a new voice and began one of the great third acts in American politics, sponsoring major legislation, standing up for liberal principles, and making the pivotal endorsement of Barack Obama for president. Hundreds of books have been written about the Kennedys. True Compass will endure as the definitive account from a member of America's most heralded family, an inspiring legacy to readers and to history, and a deeply moving story of a life like no other.
"Of course, the recent death of Senator Kennedy adds an extra layer of poignancy, but this would be a welcome addition to the political memoir bookshelf under any circumstances. Drawing upon a series of oral history interviews, and with the help of Ron Powers (Flags of Our Fathers), Kennedy devotes more than half of the book to the first half of his life-growing up as the youngest of his generation, gaining a political education while touring the western U.S. for Jack's presidential campaign in 1960, clashing with Lyndon Johnson over Vietnam, and the heartache of Jack and Bobby's assassinations. After a brief section on Chappaquiddick, Kennedy tends to the anecdotal when discussing his political career from clashing with Nixon over Supreme Court nominations to campaigning for Barack Obama. (Recollections of courting his second wife, Vicki, bring a welcome spark of personal charm.) Some readers may feel there is not quite enough introspection-while acknowledging his first wife's alcoholism, for example, Kennedy glosses over his own drinking problems-but despite the firm line he draws in the sand about discussing his personal life, Kennedy's tone of contrition is sincere. When he was a child, Kennedy's father told him, 'You can have a serious life or a nonserious life.' He chose the former, and at the end, seems genuinely grateful not just for what that life gave him, but what it enabled him to do for others." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Often touching . . . Kennedy tells his own story here, expansively yet selectively.... This is a book that all but the most toxic Kennedy critic could love" Boston Globe
"Kennedy was a devoted diarist whose natural gifts as a storyteller and as a sharp, painterly observer shine through every page.... True Compass reminds us — we're all the poorer for his absence." Los Angeles Times
"[T]his is an astonishingly intimate self-portrait of a man whose belief that 'if you persevere...you have a real opportunity to achieve something' was borne out by his extraordinary life." People
A revealing memoir by Bostonand#8217;s beloved five-term mayor, explaining the power behind Bostonand#8217;s success and lessons for the Washington power brokers
Edward M. Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the great Senators in the nation's history. He is also the patriarch of America's most heralded family. In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Kennedy speaks with unprecedented candor about his extraordinary life.
The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother, John F. Kennedy. In 1962, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he learned how to become an effective legislator.
His life has been marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love for family and an abiding faith. He writes movingly of his brothers and their influence on him; his years of struggle in the wake of their deaths; his marriage to the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy; his role in the major events of our time (from the civil rights movement to the election of Barack Obama); and how his diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor gave even greater urgency to his long crusade for improved health care for all Americans.
Written with warmth, wit, and grace, True Compass is Edward M. Kennedy's inspiring legacy to readers and to history.
Bostonandrsquo;s late, revered mayor explains the power behind the cityandrsquo;s dramatic success andmdash; and its lessons for Washington power brokers.
When Thomas Menino stepped down from office as one of the longest-serving major-city mayors in the nationandrsquo;s history, he was among the most popular politicians in modern memory. Inand#160;Mayor for a New America,and#160;Menino gives a play-by-play look at how he managed to wield political influence while staying fiercely loyal to the interests of the people he was elected to serve.
The unassuming guy from Bostonandrsquo;s Hyde Park neighborhood was an unlikely politician. Heandrsquo;d been a backstage campaign workhorse whose career nearly ended the second he stepped into the spotlight, tongue-tied. Although not a fancy talker, Mayor Menino took to the details of running the city he loved. By taking care of the small stuff andmdash; fixing potholes, cleaning up parks, plowing the streets quickly after snowstorms andmdash; he won the publicandrsquo;s trust to deliver on the big issues. He had a progressive agenda and was forward thinking in his support of an innovation economy and a champion of gay rights. He also held fast to the values of his childhood andmdash; good schools, a growing middle class, and close-knit, welcoming communities.
In this candid look back at a career that spanned the busing crisis of the 1970s, the remarkable resurgence of the neighborhoods, and the cityandrsquo;s extraordinary response to the Boston Marathon bombing, Menino tells behind-the-scenes stories and gives a master class in urban politics. And his proven, people-focused track record provides inspiration for a dysfunctional Washington to actually get things done andmdash; just like he did in Boston.
About the Author
Edward M. Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate for 47 years. In 2004, he began interviews at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia for an oral history project about his life. He worked closely on this book with Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Powers, co-author of the #1 bestseller Flags of Our Fathers and author of Mark Twain: A Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Table of Contents
From Hyde Park to City Hall
Up from Busing
The Struggle for the Schools
and#8220;Iand#8217;m not a fancy talkerand#8221;
Police and Fire
A City for All
Getting Stuff Done
and#8220;To Think I Did All That . . .and#8221;
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