Synopses & Reviews
No figure in American public life has had such great expectations thrust upon him, or has responded so poorly. But Ted Kennedy -- the youngest of the Kennedy children and the son who felt the least pressure to satisfy his father's enormous ambitions -- would go on to live a life that no one could have predicted: dismissed as a spent force in politics by the time he reached middle age, Ted became the most powerful senator of the last half century and the nation's keeper of traditional liberalism.
As Peter S. Canellos and his team of Boston Globe reporters show in this revealing and intimate biography, the gregarious, pudgy, and least academically successful of the Kennedy boys has witnessed greater tragedy and suffered greater pressure than any of his siblings. At the age of thirty-six, Ted Kennedy found himself the last brother, the champion of a generation's dreams and ambitions. He would be expected to give the nation the confidence to confront its problems and to build a fairer society at home and abroad.
He quickly failed in spectacular fashion. Late one night in the summer of 1969, he left the scene of a fatal automobile accident on Chappaquiddick Island. The death there of a young woman from his brother's campaign would haunt and ultimately doom his presidential ambitions. Political rivals turned his all-too-human failings -- drinking, philandering, and divorce -- into a condemnation of his liberal politics.
But as the presidency eluded his grasp, Kennedy was finally liberated from the expectations of others, free to become his own man. Once a symbol of youthful folly and nepotism, he transformed himself in his later years into a symbol of wisdom and perseverance. He built a deeply loving marriage with his second wife, Victoria Reggie. He embraced his role as the family patriarch. And as his health failed, he anointed the young and ambitious presidential candidate Barack Obama, whom many commentators compared to his brother Jack. The Kennedy brand of liberalism was rediscovered by a new generation of Americans.
Perceptive and carefully reported, drawing heavily from candid interviews with the Kennedy family and inner circle, Last Lion captures magnificently the life and historic achievements of Ted Kennedy, as well as the personal redemption that he found.
Praise forand#160;Long Mile Home
"In a remarkable work of narrative journalism, Boston Globe journalists Helman (co-
The complete biography of one of the most powerful men in American politics--Ted Kennedy--and his personal redemption from the disappointing member of a grand dynasty to a sage in the Senate and the patriarch of a broken family.
In the tradition of 102 Minutes and Columbine, the definitive book on the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, written by reporters fromand#160;The Boston Globeand#160;andand#160;published to coincide with the first anniversary of the tragedy
Long Mile Home will tell the gripping story of the tragic, surreal, and ultimately inspiring week of April 15, 2013: the preparations of the bombers; the glory of the race; the extraordinary emergency response to the explosions; the massive deployment of city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel; and the nationand#8217;s and the worldand#8217;s emotional and humanitarian response before, during, and after the apprehension of the suspects.
The authors, both journalists at The Boston Globe, are backed by that paperand#8217;s deep, relentless, and widely praised coverage of the event. Through the eyes of seven principal characters including the bombers, the wounded, a victim, a cop, and a doctor, Helman and Russell will trace the distinct paths that brought them together. With an unprecedented level of detail and insight, the book will offer revelations, insights, and powerful stories of heroism and humanity.
Long Mile Home will also highlight the bravery, resourcefulness, and resiliency of the Boston community. It will portray the city on its worst day but also at its best.
About the Author
is a staff writer at The Boston Globe Magazine
and coauthor of The Real Romney
JENNA RUSSELL was one of the reporters at the forefront of the Globeand#8217;s coverage of the bombings and is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Last Lion. Both authors live in Boston.