The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P Kennedy

The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P Kennedy❰BOOKS❯ ⚣ The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P Kennedy Author David Nasaw – In this magisterial new work The Patriarch the celebrated historian David Nasaw tells the full story of Joseph P Kennedy the founder of the twentieth century's most famous political dynasty Nasaw—th In this magisterial new work The Patriarch the The Remarkable Kindle Ø celebrated historian David Nasaw tells the full story of Joseph P Kennedy the founder of the twentieth century's most famous political dynasty Nasaw—the only biographer granted unrestricted access to the Joseph P Kennedy papers in the John F Kennedy Presidential Library—tracks Kennedy's astonishing passage from East Boston outsider to supreme Washington insider Kennedy's seemingly limitless ambition drove his career to the pinnacles of success as a banker World War I shipyard manager Hollywood studio head broker Wall Street operator New Deal presidential adviser and founding chairman The Patriarch PDF/EPUB ² of the Securities and Exchange Commission His astounding fall from grace into ignominy did not come until the years leading up to and following America's entry into the Second World War when the antiwar position he took as the first Irish American ambassador to London made him the subject of White House ire and popular distaste The Patriarch is a story not only of one of the twentieth century's wealthiest and most powerful Americans but also of the family he raised and the children who completed the journey he had begun Of the many roles Patriarch The Remarkable PDF/EPUB ì Kennedy held that of father was most dear to him The tragedies that befell his family marked his final years with unspeakable suffering The Patriarch looks beyond the popularly held portrait of Kennedy to answer the many uestions about his life times and legacy that have continued to haunt the historical record Was Joseph P Kennedy an appeaser and isolationist an anti Semite and a Nazi sympathizer a stock swindler a bootlegger and a colleague of mobsters What was the nature of his Patriarch The Remarkable Life and PDF \ relationship with his wife Rose Why did he have his daughter Rosemary Patriarch The Remarkable Life and PDF \ lobotomized Why did he oppose the Truman Doctrine the Marshall Plan the Korean War and American assistance to the French in Vietnam What was his relationship to J Edgar Hoover and the FBI Did he push his second son into politics and then buy his elections for him In this pioneering biography Nasaw draws on never before published materials from archives on three continents and interviews with Kennedy family members and friends to tell the life story of a man who participated in the major events of his times the booms and busts the Depression and the New Deal two world wars and a cold war and the birth of the New Frontier In studying Kennedy's life we relive with him the history of the American Century   Pulitzer Prize Finalist New York Times Ten Best books of . The Patriarch has received glowing reviews in the New York Times and elsewhere It's been praised for humanizing Joe Kennedy as a driven up from nowhere Irish American and as a devoted father brilliant investor and peerless political kingmaker This 868 page book is thoroughly documented and has a huge bibliography and index But for all of its scholarly trappings the book is the work of a hagiographer than a biographer Why? Because Nasaw’s deeper intent I think is not to humanize Kennedy but to sanitize him to launder parts of the historical record that reflect poorly on Joe Several months ago I chanced upon a Chicago Public Television interview in which Nasaw glibly dismisses the myth of Joe Kennedy's bootlegging at 240 of the video at His dismissal annoyed me for I'd just finished Burton Hersh's Bobby and J Edgar 2007 a sobering 600 page book that is shot through with evidence of Joe Kennedy's pathological womanizing and his constant dealings both social and professional with Mob leaders from coast to coast who supplied him with among other things womenBurton Hersh is a historian whom David Nasaw should not ignore Harvard educated and himself a Kennedy family intimate Hersh is regarded as the biographer of record of Ted Kennedy I had turned to Bobby and J Edgar after reading Hersh's The Old Boys an exuisitely detailed history of the origins of the CIA Historians Arthur Schlesinger Jr and Doris Kearns Goodwin both close to the Kennedy family have praised it highlyLike Nasaw Hersh had full access to Joe Kennedy's papers and to the voluminous FBI files on the Kennedys maintained by J Edger Hoover materials to which Nasaw claims erroneously that he had sole accessAfter 150 pages centered mostly on Joe Kennedy Bobby and J Edgar zeroes in on the intense hostility that developed between its two title figures This hostility was rooted in Hoover's self servingly soft approach to organized crime and in Bobby's ferociously single minded campaign as Attorney General to destroy organized crime in America a mission fueled and frustrated by his gradual and horrific discovery of the depth of his father's Mob ties Joe used these ties to advance Jack’s and Bobby’s political fortunes even as Bobby was working feverishly to do away with the MobCurious about Nasaw's sanitized account of Joe Kennedy on Chicago Public TV I got a copy of The Patriarch I wanted to see how it responds to the findings of Hersh and the other writers who have documented Joe Kennedy's Mob ties including Gus Russo Ron Kessler Gore Vidal and James Douglass Nasaw mentions none of them in his text his index or his bibliographyHow then does Nasaw deal with these ties? Speaking like a fastidious academic he describes a research strategy that involved his meticulous review of all primary and secondary sources on Joe Kennedy “taking nothing for granted dissecting every tale and rumor and discarding anecdotal second and thirdhand observations that I could not substantiate” xxiv This entitles him to claim that most of the stories about bootlegging originated in unsubstantiated usually off the cuff remarks made by Meyer Lansky Frank Costello Joe Bonanno and other Mob figures not particularly known for their truth telling 80 Academics like magicians know sleight of hand With this one sentence Nasaw conceals the elaborate nationwide network of organized crime ties that J Edgar Hoover’s Joe Kennedy file in Hersh’s account confirms enabled Joe to realize his soaring ambitions for himself and his sonsWill the American people have access to that file?In Bobby and J Edgar Hersh goes further He advances evidence to show that the JFK and RFK assassinations were likely triggered by Mob outrage Santo Trafficante Carlos Marcello Sam Giancana the Los Angeles Mob at Bobby’s drive to root out organized crime In this theory other government agencies the FBI and CIA included were likely involved as well The Patriarch by contrast mentions JFK’s assassination only in passing as the source of Joe Kennedy's grief shortly before his death Nasaw writes that he was approached by the Kennedy family to write about Joe Hersh himself a Kennedy family intimate says of Bobby and J Edgar in the book's Foreword that if honestly done it was likely to scorch out sources and friends whom I have cherished since the middle sixties Where Hersh took a conscious risk Nasaw plays it safe and his Patriarch suffers for that reason I enjoyed listening to this through to the end It kept my attention and gives an in depth portrait of Joseph P Kennedy's personality which is what I am looking for in a biography Knowing that David Nasaw was given access to material from the Kennedy family not previously made accessible to other biographers one cannot help but wonder if that presented would prove to be one sided I would not classify this as a hagiography Way too many mistakes faults and negative attributes are openly revealed to classify it as such Yet often the facts are presented from Joseph’s perspective Conflicting views on his ties with organized crime and bootlegging are only briefly discussed and then discounted I would have appreciated further analysis of opposing views to get to the underlying truth This is a long book with its 868 pages the audiobook 31 hours in length but I found it neither biased nor dry nor cluttered with unnecessary facts The written book is footnoted and has an extensive bibliography and index The book starts with Joseph’s paternal grandfather’s immigration from Ireland in 1849 This and Joseph's youth is covered uickly We are told that source material is scanty We follow Joseph through his schooling his marriage birth of his nine children and his career steps in the film industry in banking in securities and real estate trading then his employment by the government as Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission during the Depression Chairman of the Maritime Commission as the Second World War approached and finally Ambassador to Britain during the Second World War Always his Irish Roman Catholic heritage his business acumen and talent for spotting profitable investments shaped his views choices and actions He was a hands on “I’ll fix it guy” who spoke openly bluntly often with disregard for negative conseuences Of course it was both his wealth and social standing that allowed him such independence As an ambassador he really didn’t fit his blunt outspoken manner being scarcely diplomatic Watching how Roosevelt treated his ambassador will make you cringe and why Roosevelt kept him there is terribly revealingThe telling moves forward chronologically flipping between focus on family issues religion politics finance and business Coming to understand what motivated the man one comes to understand his choices even those that first seem so wrong Yeah he was friends with Joe McCarthy He too was of Irish descent and Roman Catholic The good is mixed with the bad This is particularly applicable in Joseph’s relations to his wife and children He was tied to his family to his kids and to the “family’s good name” His own career accomplished he focused on what he could do for his kids The extent to which he helped them is uite extraordinary He was loving and caringbut very often not home The relationship between Joseph and his wife Rose is perhaps the hardest to understand He was clearly a skirt chaser This is not swept under the mat Actress Gloria Swanson and Clare Boothe Luce wife of Henry Luce who launched and supervised the magazines Time Life and Fortune are two of the several named Joseph’s wife she was no better year after year vacationing alone for extended periods of time Jobs were split between husband and wife little shared or discussed This poor family They may have had money power and status but the kids’ health problems abound two assassinations in one family the eldest son killed in the war a daughter killed in a plane crash not to mention the fate of the eldest daughter Rosemary No nothing to envy Emotionally the reader cannot help but empathize The book ends when Joseph dies nine years after a stroke which left him unable to walk or speak There is no epilog that follows the life of the Kennedy children after his death There is no detailed discussion of the assassinations Rosemary’s problems are not shied from but additional information is to be found in Rosemary The Hidden Kennedy Daughter One cannot help but admire a man who from such humble origins became so immensely wealthy politically powerful and influential Presidents popes actors and journalists came to be his close friends I admire his outspoken manner Of course it was at least partially his wealth and financial standing which allowed him to so freely speak his mindThe audiobook is narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner He uses a distinct East Coast dialect for all Kennedy uotes and there are many from diaries letters and speeches The uotes hearing exactly what Joseph said and how he expressed himself reveal much about his character In the beginning I found the intonation annoying but it does make it easy to follow conversations because you know who is saying what However the same inflection was used for all the Kennedys I liked the narration a lot It was easy to followAll in all a very good book I very much enjoyed listening to this and so it gets four stars regardless of the error mentioned and even if deeper analysis of disputed information could have been explored I am still reading this even after the blooper mentioned below in chapter three I am very much enjoying it Very interesting and not hard to follow How do you feel when you are reading a non fiction book and right smack in the beginning a big blooper is made? In chapter three we are told the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria took place in Serbia An error such as this shouldn't occur; if it is just a silly mistake a typing error or something it should have been corrected by the editor What am I supposed to do now? How do I stop worrying about there being other mistakes? How can I learn if I don't trust what I am being told?The beginning is very rapid By the end of the third chapter the immigration of his Irish grandfather the career of his father up to the beginning of WW1 and Joseph's early years at Boston Latin followed by Harvard where he sueaked through and now his presidency of the bank Colombia Trust are recorded Even his marriage to Rose Fitzgerald in 1914 too I wish the book had been clearer in explaining how he managed to get accepted into Harvard with such lousy grades Was it on the basis of his ability in sports? If it was a result of personal connections it should have been clearly stated as such This is a long book Why are we zipping through years at such a clip? The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P Kennedy was a well researched biography by David Nasaw and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 Nasaw had been approached by Senator Edward Kennedy on behalf of the Kennedy family to write the story of the life of the family patriarch Joseph P Kennedy He was given complete and unfettered access to all of his personal papers that were kept at the John F Kennedy Presidential Library as well as extensive interviews with all of the Kennedy family friends employees and business associates It truly holds one's interest as it explores the Kennedy family roots from Ireland to Boston and beyond in this multigenerational saga through some of the most pivotal times in history including the crash of the stock market in 1929 the depression and World Wars I and II as well as the cold war and the rise of McCarthyism While this is a story of personal triumph and of an American political dynasty it is also a tale of the personal and devastating losses of Joseph P Kennedy Nasaw does an admirable job in acknowledging all of the controversy in Kennedy's life while attempting to get at the truth Had Joseph P Kennedy not been the patriarch of America's first family his story would be worth telling That he was only adds to its drama and historical significance His primary goal as a younger man was to make so much money that his children would not have to make any and could devote their lives to public service He accomplished that much before he was fortyThe Kennedy children would complete the journey from Dunganstown Ireland to East Boston to the pinnacle of political power and social prominence that their father had begunThis is the story of an outsider who forced his way into the halls of power and became both a witness and participant to the major events of the past century booms busts wars and cold war and the birth of a new frontier 35 Stars I've read a lot A LOT of books about the Kennedy family and looming over every member of the family was The Patriarch Joseph Patrick Kennedy Each book would give you a basic overview of who he was and how he turned his family into a political dynasty that stretches from the late 1930's to current day But I always wanted to learn and being a messy bitch I wanted the hot gossip Unfortunately I didn't get the hot gossip the author David Nasaw had the family's permission I was still a surprisingly honest portrayal of the man given that the family signed off on this book Joe Kennedy was an awful human being and this book doesn't sugarcoat it Joe Kennedy was antisemitic He really liked the great things Hitler was doing in Germany He was racist He was a bigot He had a very low opinion of women Women were either submissive wives or cheap dirty whores to have fun withI was genuinely shocked at how much his infidelity was discussed He would invite his female friends to his house when his wife Rose was there Rose of course never complained or said anything Now on to my one complaint This book really dragged in the middle World War II and the Roosevelt Administration takes the majority of this book358 pages to be exact And it really dragged the book down Obviously WW2 and FDR are important parts of his storyBUT GOD WAS IT BORING Its clear that David Nasaw did tons of research and the Kennedy's gave him access to Joe's journals and correspondence and he made good use of them but spending half of a biography on that one period was information overload More time was spent talking about the deaths of Hitler and FDR than were spent on the deaths of Joe's children Joe Jr and Kathleen And poor Rosemary once again got the shaft Rosemary was Joe's oldest daughter and she had some sort of learning disability what type is unclear but she was unable to keep up with her siblings Her mother Rose worked with her and fought to keep her in school with her siblings But Joe needed his children to be perfect and sought out a doctor who would fix her which resulted in Joe having her lobotomized behind his wife's back This is a very important part of family history its what lead his daughter Eunice to her lifelong fight for the rights of disabled people I use disabled because that's how my disabled mom referred to herself and John Kennedy became the first president to publicly talk about Americans with disabilities But this book barely spends any time on Rosemary I had a hard time deciding on a rating because despite learning about him I also felt like I didn't really get to know him Overall I enjoyed it and I'm happy that the author didn't try to make Joe Kennedy likable He was a horrible person and this book just pointed out even reasons to dislike this man I don't need to like the person I'm reading about In fact sometimes I enjoy reading about people I hate than people I love I read non fiction not to backup an opinion I already have but to understand things Joe Kennedy was a complicated man but he was also an important part of history Without his family America looks really different Don't forget John Kennedy is still America's only Catholic President but fingers crossed that changes soon I would recommend this to people who like reading about WW2 and people interested in American political history Review the book not the subject Review the book not the subject Just keep repeating that to yourself David Nasaw has written a good book about a man who is hard to admire The Kennedy family provided Nasaw with access to sources that previously were unavailable to biographers; if the expected him to write a hagiography they must be disappointed Nasaw pretty much refrains from making judgments about Joseph Kennedy When Nasaw edges toward the moral bar and can't provide any but the darkest motivation he takes a few steps back takes a deep breath and lets the reader decide It's clear that Nasaw never developed any great affection for his subject but had no stomach for condemnation This is both a strength and a weakness of the book To his credit Nasaw's these are the facts you decide approach gives his account great credibility the reader never feels that the author is dragging one to a conclusion But the problems are that this sometimes drains the color from a portrait that screams for the palette of a Fauvist and that the reader sometimes can almost feel Nasaw's frustration Kennedy's rise from privilege to great riches is narrated with a minimum of arcane business terminology making it understandable to those of us lacking MBAs His involvement in his son's political career is described fully But the doorgreatest detail in the book is found in the lengthy section on his “career” as a diplomat to the Court of St James Here Nasaw goes far afield to give the reader all the information needed to understand Kennedy’s dramatic failures and stunningly corrosive pessimism I kept saying “What He did what?” Nasaw’s explanation for why Roosevelt refused to recall him until after the 1940 election is unedifying to say the least Of course anyone who picks up this book wants answers to these uestions How could a father have treated Rosemary the way Joseph did? How did Joe reconcile his Catholicism and his philandering? Nasaw evades neither uestion and lays out what information there is that suggests answers but neither uestion gets an answer that is richly satisfying I don't blame the author it's not his failure Some doors to some parts of the soul remain locked possibly forever Writing a biography about someone the author clearly doesn't like much had to be difficult In the face of this Nasaw does an admirable job This may stand as the definitive account of the life of Joseph P Kennedy This is a thorough biography of a truly remarkable man who with his family provides us with a grand view of the American century Aside from the Roosevelt’s Theodore Franklin and Eleanor I can think of no other family that has become so iconic and significant to US history It is a story of both high triumph and devastating tragedyJoseph P Kennedy came from an upper middle class background which he attempted concealing perpetuating a myth that his roots were humble He made his millions from investments and stock exchange transactions Patrick Kennedy was an extremely astute businessman – he could manage multi task and carry on several deals simultaneously – all of them piling up money An example of his shrewdness was that he maintained his fortune when the Great Depression hit The author also points out that Kennedy never made money from boot legging liuor during prohibitionPatrick Kennedy latched onto the Roosevelt band wagon – he recognized a winner when he saw one Roosevelt appointed him to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission that regulates the stock market Kennedy thrived at this because he knew the tricks of the trade and actually passed regulations that would have prohibited his past transactions by this time his fortune was made Kennedy seems to have made a transition from acuiring money to acuiring powerRoosevelt in a rather disastrous move appointed Kennedy as ambassador to England Perhaps one reason for this was Kennedy’s growing Presidential aspirations – so better to locate him a few thousand miles away Whereas Kennedy excelled in the business world he never comprehended what it took to be a good politician He could never keep his big mouth shut He was not only for appeasement with Germany and Italy but repeatedly urged France and England to meekly surrender to Germany After the war started this strikes one as not only defeatist but traitorous Roosevelt much to Kennedy’s anger started to circumvent his ambassador in communicating to England For instance among other methods he started a secret correspondence with Churchill at the time that he was Naval Minister under Chamberlain at war’s onset Perhaps it was the length of the book at close to 800 pages but I started to find Kennedy a bit of a jerk – a prima donna he had a Cassandra complex the world was never getting better according to Kennedy he was simply not a listener a reuirement for an ambassador I would think He wanted to be called “Mr Ambassador” for the rest of his life even though he left the post in disgrace He gave to charities but for the most part these had a Catholic angle Aside from the plight of Irish Catholics he never cared much for any of the destitute and downtrodden in his own country He liked and supported Senator Joe McCarthy partly because he too was a Catholic This was strange because I don’t see how McCarthy’s virulent anti communism could tie in with Kennedy’s extreme isolationismAt times I found the author too fawning on his subject but he does provide enough details to allow us our own evaluations Even though the author states that Kennedy was a “good father” he was absent much of the time I found the relationship between Kennedy and his wife Rose an enigma; he was covertly and not so covertly carrying on relationships with several women – like the actress Gloria Swanson and Clare Booth Luce wife of TimeLife editor Henry Luce Rose just seemed to take this all in stride – like she was wearing blinkers – constantly referring to her husband in the most glowing of termsThis book is well written with short and well structured chapters The Kennedy’s are a vibrant and lively bunch – but ultimately sad and harrowingPage xxiii my book“The Kennedy children would complete the journey from Dunganstown Ireland to East Boston to the pinnacle of American political power and social prominence that their father had begun He would glory in their political and personal triumphs But the sorrows he endured as father were as intense as the joys” Historian Nasaw spent 6 years interviewing people and scouring archives personal letters and then wrote this book This was too much information But v interesting Joseph Kennedy hereafter JPK wed Rose Fitzgerald and they had 9 offspring The author estimated this couple usually spent 300 days apart each year because of his various business deals they both chose to vacation separately It felt like an arranged marriage JPK madehis millions on the stock market oil wells as a movie producer distributor he imported liuor He never participated as a Prohibition 'bootlegger' JPK owned the Merchandise Mart in Chicago He used 25% of MM profits to fund the Foundation which provided seed for mostly Catholic non profits named in eldest son JPK Jr's memory Joseph had such ambition for JrJPK had 3 jobs in the Franklin Roosevelt administration the 1st chairman of the SEC he headed the Merritime Commission And lastly served at Ambassador to England pre and during part of WW2 But he undermined FDR's foreign policies JPK was uite opinionated for Prime Minister Chamberlain ultimately against FDR PM Churchill JPK naively thought if countries soon to be aligned as the Allies placated Hitler they could prevent war JPK had a few journalists willing to leak info for him Ironically JPK made gobs of via insider trading on stocks But he made this practice illegal once be became in charge of the SEC JPK acted a stage manager of his offspring what collegeto attend what career to have what mate to have choice of travel where why I admired the instances where Jack showed dad he was his own man JPK wanted his offspring to look and be perfect achievers and to reflect well on the family His oldest daughter Rosemary was developmentally disabled JPK switched her from school to school until he thought her behavior justified subjecting her to a lobotomy After that she lost her ability to speak and most of her independent skills It felt sad that Rosemary's sibs seldom visited her in Wisconsin until their father had his stroke Ignoring the unspoken family rule the family had permanently separated from Rosemary the sibs visited her again Bro Bobby ran Jack's Senate subseuent Presidential campaign While dad manipulated the image issues and the media Jack sister Eunice both had Addison's disease Dad and Jack both womanizers Dad's challenge how to make Jack exciting to the public wo revealing his skirt chasing ways and tendency toward poor health? JPK had many friends including SenEugene McCarthy and J Edgar Hoover Who knew? JPK made a fair # of enemies along the way with his manipulative waysRevised 0629 Nasaw’s “The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P Kennedy” was published in 2012 and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee in 2013 Nasaw is an author and a professor of American history at City University of New York Among his most widely read books are biographies of William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Carnegie which was a 2007 Pulitzer Prize nomineeNasaw began this authorized biography after Kennedy’s two youngest children Jean and Edward approached him to assess his interest in the project Once he was assured unrestricted access to Kennedy’s papers and complete editorial control he spent six years researching his subject’s life – documenting his personal and professional lives and investigating a variety of alleged misdeedsIt is unusual for a biography to captivate me with increasing intensity as it progresses – particularly a lengthy one covering someone with whom I am already uite familiar In this case the dozen biographies of JFK I read two years ago furnished me with a “colorful” introduction to the famously ambitious and deeply flawed Joseph P Kennedy Yet I found Nasaw’s early chapters surprisingly mild and unremarkable while later chapters proved increasingly compelling insightful and captivatingWith 787 pages of text “The Patriarch” is extraordinarily comprehensive and reasonably detailed especially relating to conversations involving Kennedy But while Nasaw’s writing style lacks the fluidity and literary elegance of some biographers his narrative is uncommonly easy to read and is never exhausting or tedious And on the strength of his research he is able to meticulously reconstruct much of Kennedy’s life particularly during his adulthoodThe book’s “Introduction” is brief but potent – and almost as good as introductory pages can be The chapters describing Kennedy’s early days as the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and his waning days as Ambassador to the UK are unusually interesting But the revealing coverage of Joseph Kennedy’s relationship with FDR may be the book’s single greatest gift to its audienceAnd yetthis biography often seems a record of Kennedy’s daily movements and conversations than an analysis of how he shaped and responded to events The reader will eventually feel as though he or she is reading a well crafted intelligence dossier rather than re living Joe Kennedy’s life through his own eyes The narrative describes what he did far than whyNasaw also fails to provide meaningful introductions to even the most important supporting characters “Honey Fitz” Kennedy’s famously effervescent father in law is the first to receive short shrift but the list also includes Eddie Moore Kennedy’s chief lieutenant and apparent best friend Arthur Krock a journalist whose assistance was so invaluable it begs for explanationand even Kennedy’s wife Nasaw curiously chooses to leave them bland and two dimensionalFinally readers will not be surprised to find the author adept at seeing the silver lining around every Kennedy generated cloud While Nasaw rarely fails to point out his subject’s numerous flaws and moral failings he often soft pedals them somewhat in the spirit of “Kennedy just being Kennedy” or excuses bad acts altogether on technical groundsOverall David Nasaw’s “The Patriarch” is a well researched and fluently written biography of an extraordinarily interesting man who was professionally productive personally petulant and perennially promiscuous Joseph P Kennedy’s life is rich ground for a biographer and Nasaw covers his subject capably But while this biography is satisfying in nearly every regard it could have been exceptionalOverall rating 3¾ stars This was an extremely detailed look at Joseph P Kennedy about whom I realize I knew fairly little I had assumed wrongly that he was probably involved with mobsters and bootleggers in addition to making a lot of money in the stock market and knowing when to get out It turns out that later as SEC chairman under Roosevelt he wrote the rules that made it illegal to do what he didHe also dabbled in Hollywood turning a low rent production studio based in the UK into a moneymaker by producing B movies On the other hand he was also responsible for the ueen Kelly debacle which almost ruined Gloria Swanson's career After that he decided Hollywood was too unpredictable even if he learned a lot about marketing stars which came in handy when his son ran for presidentThe most interesting part was his stint as Ambassador to the Court of St James in the 1930s Friends and acuaintances told him he was much too opinionated to be a diplomat but he didn't listen Conseuently he was tarred as an appeaser an isolationist and just plain defeatist because he was against the US going to war to help England who he believed could not possibly beat Germany Later this was used to brand him as pro Hitler which was not the caseIf you enjoyed the author's other massive biography of William Randolph Hearst you will enjoy this one Exhaustively footnoted and thoroughly researched this is an excellent biography albeit way WAY longer than I had wished Nasaw got wonderful cooperation from the Kennedy family in compiling this book which in turn gave him entree to friendsassociates with whom he had extraordinary access However it certainly did not at all color his detached and independent portrayal of his subject This biography busts many long time myths about Kennedy ie while he certainly invested in legal liuor production he was NOT a bootlegger It also does not present Joseph Kennedy in any particular light that's good bad or indifferent Rather Mr Nasaw chronicles his life through his public speeches interviews private letters etc I ended up not liking Joseph Kennedy very much when I finally finished However I did find his life and certainly his family to be utterly fascinating After reading two very long non fiction biographies I am ready for a good fiction story now

The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of
  • Hardcover
  • 868 pages
  • The Patriarch The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P Kennedy
  • David Nasaw
  • English
  • 03 March 2016
  • 9781594203763