The Patriarch

The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy

    • 3.7 • 142 Ratings
    • $16.99
    • $16.99

Publisher Description

2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist
New York Times Ten Best Books of 2012

“Riveting…The Patriarch is a book hard to put down.”  – Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review

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—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 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 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 questions 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 relationship with his wife, Rose? Why did he have his daughter Rosemary 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.

Biographies & Memoirs
November 13
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Mooseheart ,

Good read

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it.

Seangian1965 ,

Tenacious Bullish Irishman

2nd generation Irish Catholic who figured out the art of the deal in finance, Hollywood, international trade (Scotch), domestic & foreign politics and real estate. Within all fields he left a lasting impression at the highest levels. Not always in the right, but always in the thick of it; unyielding in his principles. Bold risk taker, never a gambler, who never stopped testing his own or his family's limits. He not only beat the socio-econ-religious obstacles of the day, he did with style that grew a family brand that continues to intrigue millions. Has any other American left such a mark?

crunch ,

Prices are outrageous--simply stop buying

Books have gone from $9.99 to $19.99 in a couple of years. The only way to stop the gauging is to simply stop buying ebooks at these insane prices. I am all for supporting the book industry, but price collusion and excess pricing is not the way to win people over. I'll go borrow this one thank you.

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