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The Kennedy Wives saw history up close—made history in some cases. They knew wealth and privilege but we are bonded to them by loss which are our losses too. The Kennedy women—fierce, intelligent, and very private—belong to us. Not because of their glamour, but because of their grief and misfortunes.  The Kennedy Wives takes an unflinching look at the women who married into The Kennedy Wives saw history up close—made history in some cases. They knew wealth and privilege but we are bonded to them by loss which are our losses too. The Kennedy women—fierce, intelligent, and very private—belong to us. Not because of their glamour, but because of their grief and misfortunes.  The Kennedy Wives takes an unflinching look at the women who married into the Kennedy family and their distinct roles. Rose, the matriarch; Ethel, the athlete; Jackie, the icon; Joan, the fragile beauty; and Vicki, the redeemer. In reality, each woman was complex and multifaceted. As Kennedy wives, they were bonded through characteristics and experiences unique to the Camelot family. The Kennedy Wives is an exploration of these women that will offer what no other book or film created thus far has: a thoughtful analysis of what drew the Kennedy men to these iconic women, and what the women endured in exchange for their acceptance into the Camelot clan. 


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The Kennedy Wives saw history up close—made history in some cases. They knew wealth and privilege but we are bonded to them by loss which are our losses too. The Kennedy women—fierce, intelligent, and very private—belong to us. Not because of their glamour, but because of their grief and misfortunes.  The Kennedy Wives takes an unflinching look at the women who married into The Kennedy Wives saw history up close—made history in some cases. They knew wealth and privilege but we are bonded to them by loss which are our losses too. The Kennedy women—fierce, intelligent, and very private—belong to us. Not because of their glamour, but because of their grief and misfortunes.  The Kennedy Wives takes an unflinching look at the women who married into the Kennedy family and their distinct roles. Rose, the matriarch; Ethel, the athlete; Jackie, the icon; Joan, the fragile beauty; and Vicki, the redeemer. In reality, each woman was complex and multifaceted. As Kennedy wives, they were bonded through characteristics and experiences unique to the Camelot family. The Kennedy Wives is an exploration of these women that will offer what no other book or film created thus far has: a thoughtful analysis of what drew the Kennedy men to these iconic women, and what the women endured in exchange for their acceptance into the Camelot clan. 

30 review for The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family

  1. 4 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    The Kennedy Wives is a biographical book about the five Kennedy women that were married to Joe, Jack, Bobby and Edward Kennedy. Every woman gets her own chapter and in the chapters, their lives are described from their childhood to how they met their husband and how their lives turned out. For me, this book didn't really contain much of new information when with it come to Ethel, Jackie or Joan since I have read Taraborrelli's Jackie Ethel Joan Women of Camelot. I have also read part of Rose Ken The Kennedy Wives is a biographical book about the five Kennedy women that were married to Joe, Jack, Bobby and Edward Kennedy. Every woman gets her own chapter and in the chapters, their lives are described from their childhood to how they met their husband and how their lives turned out. For me, this book didn't really contain much of new information when with it come to Ethel, Jackie or Joan since I have read Taraborrelli's Jackie Ethel Joan Women of Camelot. I have also read part of Rose Kennedy's autobiography (that I own and must finish some day) so I knew much about her also. Vicki Kennedy, however, was a woman I hadn't read so much about and her relationship with Ted Kennedy actually made me soften up a bit to him. Ted Kennedy has never really been a Kennedy that I cared so much about. For me, it has always been Bobby and Jack. Well, mostly Bobby. This book put the wives in focus, sure they are mostly known for their roles as wives, but I think it is nice to read about them, about what made them tick, and their influence on their husbands and the tragedies they suffered in their lives. I think Amber Hurst and David Batcher has done a really good work, this book is informative and it never gets boring reading it. I admit that I didn't think the chapters about Joan and Vicki would interest me so much, but they were just as interesting to read as the other wives chapters. A great book for people that are interested in the Kennedys or for those who want to know more about Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki Kennedy! Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... I have mixed feelings about Amber Hunt and David Batcher's The Kennedy Wives. A collected biography of one of America's most recognizable families, the book boasts obvious appeal and covers a lot of wonderful material, but the execution wasn't as even-handed as I envisioned going in and I must admit there were aspects of the book that left me wanting. I appreciated the format in that each of the women had a section dedicated Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... I have mixed feelings about Amber Hunt and David Batcher's The Kennedy Wives. A collected biography of one of America's most recognizable families, the book boasts obvious appeal and covers a lot of wonderful material, but the execution wasn't as even-handed as I envisioned going in and I must admit there were aspects of the book that left me wanting. I appreciated the format in that each of the women had a section dedicated specifically to her, but I'm not sure I liked how the authors labeled Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki. I feel the treatment pigeonholed their personalities into very specific roles, narrowed the authors' views during the writing process and resulted in a very simplistic portrait of each Kennedy spouse. As the jacket states, this is a complex and multifaceted group of women, individuals who are far too dynamic to stereotyped and I'm not convinced the presentation here does justice to that legacy. The underlying favoritism of Jackie and the Camelot era also frustrated me as the figurative designation refers to the Kennedy administration rather than the extensive dynasty founded by Joseph Patrick Kennedy. Jackie's section is more rounded than those of the other spouses, her picture is more prominently displayed on the cover and, paired with the Camelot references in the description, I felt she was singled out. Were this the biography of an individual, I wouldn't take issue, but all of these women married Kennedy men and weathered the challenges of that association and at the end of the day, I don't think Hunt and Batcher's work displays Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki on an even playing field. Finally, I had particular difficulty the chapters dedicated to Ethel. To be fair, this section sparked an interest that inspired me to learn more about Robert's widow, but it also highlighted a flaw that left me rather disappointed with the book. I liked what I read so much that I took time off to watch Rory Kennedy's Ethel, but in listening to the documentary, I realized how heavily Hunt and Batcher relied on the film and was ultimately disillusioned with their research. The story is there, but I don't feel the authors brought anything new to the table and that opinion openly colored my experience with subsequent sections of The Kennedy Wives. Is it a bad biography? Certainly not. The intent here is nothing short of brilliant and generally speaking, I think the volume a great introduction to Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki. Yes, I felt there was room to do more with the material and I'm not shy about saying so, but when all is said and done, I value the time I spent with this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the Kennedy women.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    A special thank you to Rowman & Littlefield and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. A remarkable book and a captivating family of five distinct and inspiring women, The Kennedy Wives, "the woman behind each man". Each of these five special and unique women- an integral part of our US history. Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family, is thought-provoking, well-researched, and elegantly portrayed with passion, honesty, and clarity – by talented authors A special thank you to Rowman & Littlefield and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. A remarkable book and a captivating family of five distinct and inspiring women, The Kennedy Wives, "the woman behind each man". Each of these five special and unique women- an integral part of our US history. Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family, is thought-provoking, well-researched, and elegantly portrayed with passion, honesty, and clarity – by talented authors, Amber Hunt and David Batcher. Many readers may have a favorite Kennedy wife or mother; one we respected, sympathized with, or possibly related to as part of a specific generation, or time. Since I grew up in the fifties/sixties, I have always been intrigued with Jackie Kennedy, the icon; as a wife, mother, and a woman. Her classic style and sophistication has always been timeless, and enjoy the Palm Beach connection, since I reside there. There are so many landmarks and spots which I see every day, reminding me of the history and photographs. The book provided some tidbits about her father and childhood, and teen years which was unaware of. The book is broken down in parts by each woman: from the cradle, childhood, to marriage, motherhood and beyond; from politics, loves, losses, fears, successes, tragedies, addictions, sickness and health, to the grave. Part I Rose 1890-1995 Part II Ethel 1928 Part III Jackie 1929-1994 Part IV Joan 1936 Part V Vicki 1954 The Kennedy family, of course is known for its politics, the public figure, the man, his intellect, and power behind the name. Jack Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963 (remember this like it was yesterday when the teacher came into the classroom crying); his brother Bobby, Jack’s Attorney General who would also be assassinated in 1968, and Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy the youngest of the nine children who lived longer. Soon after Bobby's death, Ted received one of many ominous letters and threatening him not to run for President or VP. Ted maintained a deferential attitude towards the older, seniority-laden Southern members when he first entered the Senate, avoiding publicity and focusing on committee work and local issues. Compared to his brothers in office, he lacked John's sophistication and Robert's intense, sometimes grating drive, but was more affable than either of them. Amber Hunt and David Batcher delivers a “must read” classic account of the five brave women who married and stood behind these powerful men. Rose Kennedy the matriarch of the family and wife of Joe Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of Jack, Ethel, wife of Bobby and Joan and Vicki, the first and second wives of Teddy Kennedy. By the time Jackie met John, he was one of the most sought-after men on the East Coast, a junior congressman with an eye on a Senate seat. She would fall for his many virtues, and in time come to learn about the darker components of his complex personality. Jacqueline Kennedy the woman continued long after the death of Jack Kennedy. But the mythic figure we remember today was forged largely in that week in Nov, 1963, when though a disoriented and grief-stricken widow, she used her own brilliant alchemy to create, with simple words and stark imagery, an enduring, heroic, romantic picture of what our country could be. John Jr. had the best Kennedy qualities—the looks, the smarts, the discipline, and the zest for life. Ted had stayed close with Jackie through the years and he had loved her dearly and after her death he felt even more protective of her two children. John Jr. had always been seen as heir to Jack’s throne, and thanks to Jackie’s grounding influence, not just by birthright. Though he never ran for office, he was an important behind the scenes player throwing his name and money behind the Democratic causes and candidates. Then another Kennedy had been taken in his prime and Ted was heartbroken. Readers may sympathize with these women, married to powerful, dark, and not always the perfect nor faithful husband, with ongoing threats to their lives as well as their family, pressure and demands. As they each faced their demons, the press, and tragedies in different ways, as reiterated with Ted/Vicki’s mantra “One step at a time.” There was always a time and place when each of these women had to be strong: a day in 1963 when Jackie Kennedy faced the world without Jack. A day in 1968 when Ethel had ten children, an eleventh on the way, and had to walk forward without Bobby by her side. The next year, Rose returned to an empty house in Hyannis Port after burying her husband near their first home in Brookline. Even Joan had to go about the task of inventing a new life in Boston after her marriage to Teddy ended. Now Vicki found herself where each of the others had stood; staring into the future, her husband gone, memories to fortify her, and their shared ideals to carry forward. “Their experience of wealth and power, love, loss, and tragedy occurred at such a heightened level that is tempting to see them as mythic, almost archetypal creatures. But Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki were and are stubbornly fleshy in their humanity, and they give all of us, men and women, powerful examples of what everyday strength, resilience, and grace can look like. It’s because of their refusal to ossify into sterile sainthood that they will always fascinate—and always inspire.” The Kennedy Wives is well-organized and enjoyed the easy to read format and review of history, the writing style, and the well-researched material, making for an engaging and satisfying read. Highly recommend. Judith D. Collins Must Read Books

  4. 5 out of 5

    2kasmom

    I am going to tell you the truth. I read lots of biographies. I am interested in those that have come before. In this book the authors, have an investigative journalist advantage that many books do not. I found out all I could possibly know about the wives who were married to the Kennedy men. They each have their own characteristics and Hunt gives them titles. Like Rose is "the matriarch", and Jackie "the icon." She has a very well put together way of telling you everything from their birth to wh I am going to tell you the truth. I read lots of biographies. I am interested in those that have come before. In this book the authors, have an investigative journalist advantage that many books do not. I found out all I could possibly know about the wives who were married to the Kennedy men. They each have their own characteristics and Hunt gives them titles. Like Rose is "the matriarch", and Jackie "the icon." She has a very well put together way of telling you everything from their birth to where they are buried. I was pleasantly surprised to find how complete and in depth this book is. It is like a history volume all in itself. Everyone in America, it seems, has curiosity about this family. They seem like a royal family with all the glam and drama. This book reminded me again of the phrase "the woman behind the man". These women were very unique and their own strengths that each brought to the family and also the relationships they were in. Very thought provoking and more information that I remember seeing before in my lifetime - this is a very easy read. ***I received this free ARC copy from Netgalley.com, in return for review purposes. It did in no way influence my opinion ab out the author or book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    Is there a more intriguing American family than the Kennedy family? I don't think so; the Kennedys steal the show. The Kennedy Wives focuses on five Kennedy women and how their lives have been shaped by becoming apart of this famous clan. First, there's Rose Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family. Next is Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's wife. Of course, the authors focus on Jackie Kennedy, the famous wife of John F. Kennedy, and lastly, there's Joan Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy, both wives of Is there a more intriguing American family than the Kennedy family? I don't think so; the Kennedys steal the show. The Kennedy Wives focuses on five Kennedy women and how their lives have been shaped by becoming apart of this famous clan. First, there's Rose Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family. Next is Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's wife. Of course, the authors focus on Jackie Kennedy, the famous wife of John F. Kennedy, and lastly, there's Joan Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy, both wives of Ted Kennedy. Authors Amber Hunt and David Batcher did a wonderful job bringing to life each woman's tale of the many ups and downs that come with the territory of being a Kennedy. Each woman's story was fascinating in its own right and I was thoroughly captivated by every heart-wrenching detail. Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    A very readable and entertaining biography of 5 Kennedy women - Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki - whose lives were closely entwined with the wider Kennedy clan and as a result lived in a world of glamour, wealth and tragedy. Jackie Kennedy is the one we perhaps most readily recognise, but each of these women has an interesting story to learn about and the authors have done an excellent job of making their subjects come alive. Meticulously researched and narrated in a succinct and accessible A very readable and entertaining biography of 5 Kennedy women - Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki - whose lives were closely entwined with the wider Kennedy clan and as a result lived in a world of glamour, wealth and tragedy. Jackie Kennedy is the one we perhaps most readily recognise, but each of these women has an interesting story to learn about and the authors have done an excellent job of making their subjects come alive. Meticulously researched and narrated in a succinct and accessible style, it’s a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of this iconic family and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Flewts

    I chose this book because I wanted to know more about Vicki Reggie. A friend of mine was her roommate at Tulane, so I knew a very little, but not enough to really understand what she was like. Even though I'd read biographies about the Kennedys in the past, I did learn a few things about Rose, Ethel, and Jackie. I hadn't known much about Joan, so that was good. This is a very readable book, with enough insightful narrative to carry the reader along. With 5 remarkable women to profile, it must hav I chose this book because I wanted to know more about Vicki Reggie. A friend of mine was her roommate at Tulane, so I knew a very little, but not enough to really understand what she was like. Even though I'd read biographies about the Kennedys in the past, I did learn a few things about Rose, Ethel, and Jackie. I hadn't known much about Joan, so that was good. This is a very readable book, with enough insightful narrative to carry the reader along. With 5 remarkable women to profile, it must have been a challenge to narrow the information into such concise chapters. We all have heard a lot about their husbands. It's time to pay attention to the women behind the men!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Once upon a time, five beautiful and strong women married charismatic Kennedy men. They were called Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vickie. Rose, the matriarch of the dynasty, had a steely inner-strength and toughness that helped her through her husband's infidelities, the loss of his reputation in the UK and terrible tragedy. She has often been thought of as fanatically religious and rather cruel to her daughter Kathleen, who fell in love with two Protestant men. However, she is more likeable and Once upon a time, five beautiful and strong women married charismatic Kennedy men. They were called Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vickie. Rose, the matriarch of the dynasty, had a steely inner-strength and toughness that helped her through her husband's infidelities, the loss of his reputation in the UK and terrible tragedy. She has often been thought of as fanatically religious and rather cruel to her daughter Kathleen, who fell in love with two Protestant men. However, she is more likeable and softer in this account. Ethel, raucous and a tomboy, also clung to her faith through much tragedy. She was a supportive wife to Bobby, managed to raise 11 children, and devoted much of her time to charity work, but she also loved a good time, and she was famous for her parties. She also held educational seminars. Jackie restored the White House to its former glory, charmed crowds everywhere she went with her elegance and facility for languages and became a symbol of the nation's strength and fortitude when her husband died. Kind-hearted, gorgeous Joan fell victim to her husband's philandering and found it more difficult to cope with suffering than the other wives. She became an alcoholic but she bravely attempted to overcome it. Vickie, clever and wise, was exactly the wife that the aged Ted needed in his last years. This is a fascinating and sympathetic account of these wonderful women by Amber Hunt and David Batcher, and an excellent analysis of their characters. I didn't find anything new in it, but I didn't know much about Joan or Vickie, so I was extremely interested in the last part of the book. This is a great book for anyone who loves to read about this great American family.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill Crosby

    Reads like a high schooler's essay on "Great American Women Named Kennedy." Basic facts are WRONG, and the hagiographizing of five Kennedy wives (Rose to Vicki) is redundant and superficial. "Spunky" Ethel's section is swiped almost verbatim from Rory Kennedy's documentary of her mother, and if I had to read ONE. MORE. TIME. about the "beautiful Joan" I'd have dispatched a Thesaurus directly to the authors. If you want definitive accounts of the Kennedy gals, check out Lawrence Leamer's comprehe Reads like a high schooler's essay on "Great American Women Named Kennedy." Basic facts are WRONG, and the hagiographizing of five Kennedy wives (Rose to Vicki) is redundant and superficial. "Spunky" Ethel's section is swiped almost verbatim from Rory Kennedy's documentary of her mother, and if I had to read ONE. MORE. TIME. about the "beautiful Joan" I'd have dispatched a Thesaurus directly to the authors. If you want definitive accounts of the Kennedy gals, check out Lawrence Leamer's comprehensive volumes, and leave this one on the shelf to be untouched by ten-foot poles.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katarina

    Loved it. Really interesting and so well written that it reads like fiction. With that I mean that it's easy to read and flows well, but also that the Kennedy family's lives are like fiction. Full of larger than life characters, this book focuses on 5 of the wives. I haven't read much about any of them, so for me this was a treasure trove of information. Those women are were/are pretty amazing and lived through so many roller coasters.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carole M.

    I really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of new facts too.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    I borrowed this book from a friend who said she was enjoying the book. (She has yet to finish it. She knew I would read it before she would. She was right.) Turns out my Mum who was visiting me, read it, as I had to read two books for book club. I had started and had only two of the chapters (Joan and Vicki) left. In the meantime, my husband has also started reading it. Who doesn't want to read about the Kennedy's? The chapters are broken down into the five woman who married into the Kennedy fam I borrowed this book from a friend who said she was enjoying the book. (She has yet to finish it. She knew I would read it before she would. She was right.) Turns out my Mum who was visiting me, read it, as I had to read two books for book club. I had started and had only two of the chapters (Joan and Vicki) left. In the meantime, my husband has also started reading it. Who doesn't want to read about the Kennedy's? The chapters are broken down into the five woman who married into the Kennedy family: Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki. This is my first biography of the Kennedy family and other than knowing what basically everyone else knows about Jackie, I didn't know anything of the other four woman. Each woman chapter is broken down into further chapters. I found the reading easy to read, engaging and hard to put down. While there was lots of information and goes into quite a bit of detail with Rose, Ethel and Jackie, I felt the last two chapters with Joan and Vicki, wives of Teddy rushed, as though the two authors, Amber Hunt and David Batcher had enough and wanted to get it off to their publisher. Since I lived in Northern Virginia only 45 minutes from DC for 8 years, I knew many of the places they talked about in DC and surrounding areas. That's always makes it more fun reading! In the Jackie section, Henry F. du Pont was mentioned. He was "one of the nation's foremost connoisseurs of early decorative American art and he had turned his own home, Winterthur, into a museum. The 175-room mansion, situation on a thousand Delaware acres, was the nation's finest collection of Americana, Jackie needed his expertise, his connections--and his collection." Well, I've been to his home, Winterthur, 5 years ago with my Mum and sister. We went because Dowtown Abbey's costumes were being displayed there. Besides seeing the clothes, we also toured his home, 8 floors of endless rooms upon rooms upon rooms. It was fascinating! I wish there were more pictures to go with the stories. I wish they had put pictures of the women in their chapter instead of clumping them together in Jackie's chapters. There were only 14 pictures. There were only 3 pictures of Rose, 2 of Ethel, 1 of Joan, 2 of Vicki, and unfairly 6 of Jackie! Ugh!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    I ended up enjoying this book. It started out a little slow, concentrating on Rose. Ethel and Bobby were next, which was interesting since Jack was the older son and age order would have been a logical way to organize the chronology of the book. Jackie and Jack follow Ethel and probably occupy the majority of the book, which isn't surprising as Jackie was First Lady and their story is the most interesting/gut-wrenching. Next comes Joan and Teddy, which is a sad yet very relatable story given how I ended up enjoying this book. It started out a little slow, concentrating on Rose. Ethel and Bobby were next, which was interesting since Jack was the older son and age order would have been a logical way to organize the chronology of the book. Jackie and Jack follow Ethel and probably occupy the majority of the book, which isn't surprising as Jackie was First Lady and their story is the most interesting/gut-wrenching. Next comes Joan and Teddy, which is a sad yet very relatable story given how rampant addiction and alcoholism is in today's society. I enjoyed the section on Vicki a lot, which kind of surprised me. She was a Kennedy wife for contemporary times and she seems to have handled it with grace and true enjoyment. Overall I think The Kennedy Women was a meatier book (which I loved and have read and reread multiple times), but if you want a less scholarly work, this book is a good option.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gail O'Connor

    It was a wonderful telling of the wives. It had to be very difficult to make an old subject interesting and vibrant but she did. Keeps your interest throughout the entire book and made the history so vivid and moving.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This is an interesting overview. I've read more detailed bios of Rose, Ethel, Jackie, and Joan. Vicki didn't get much attention in this. Perhaps it's because her life hasn't been as long as the others.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    A very interesting portrayal of the Kennedy wives. Reading this book gave me a view of the ladies’ childhood throughout their life as a politician’s wife. Each woman Was unique in how they handled personal and family situations.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Five vignettes of the women who have shaped the Kennedy family. I knew very little about these women, but I have come to respect each of them.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Great summary of each of the Kennedy wives lives.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    I couldn't name 3 of these 5 so this was all pretty new to me. They all had interesting stories but bizarrely 4 of the 5 put up an incredible amount of philandering by their husbands.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erin Matson

    David Batcher should write more books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    This was an interesting read. I enjoyed learning about all of the wives - not just Jackie. A good read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Kralovic

    Enjoyed learning about Joan and Vicki Kennedy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jess Williams

    these women are so inspiring, whatever your politics. so much I didn't know about the tragedy they were able to endure (and the ways they were able to endure them).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Nothing really in depth, just really a synopsis of the Kennedy Wives' lives, but a quick read nonetheless.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nelia

    A well written and well researched account of the women who had the misfortune to marry into this tragic family of degenerate men.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I have long been fascinated by the Kennedys, which I realize does not make me unique. Many of us are. I was born shortly after JFK was assassinated, was too young to remember Bobby, but recall Teddy's presidential runs and Jackie's marriage to Aristotle Onassis. And, of course, I remember John Kennedy, Jr., who was the object of a serious crush. This book, focused on the wives of the Kennedy men - Joe senior, Jack, Bobby, and Teddy - brings nothing new to the conversation, but it is nonetheless i I have long been fascinated by the Kennedys, which I realize does not make me unique. Many of us are. I was born shortly after JFK was assassinated, was too young to remember Bobby, but recall Teddy's presidential runs and Jackie's marriage to Aristotle Onassis. And, of course, I remember John Kennedy, Jr., who was the object of a serious crush. This book, focused on the wives of the Kennedy men - Joe senior, Jack, Bobby, and Teddy - brings nothing new to the conversation, but it is nonetheless interesting for the curious amongst us. The authors don't go terribly in-depth with their profiles, offering instead a bit more substance than a cursory examination, culling their research from previously published articles and texts. Whenever I read about the Kennedys, I find myself hoping that history will be rewritten. Joe Jr. will not die, nor will Kick, and JFK and Bobby will not be the victims of assassins. The image the book presents of Rosemary sobbing with a stroke-ridden Joe after learning of Bobby's death is striking in its sadness, just as the vision of Jack and Jackie holding hands - a rare moment of public physical intimacy - days before he is shot gives a brief glimmer of hope. Through this book, you get to know Rosemary, Ethel, Jackie, Joan, and Victoria (Ted's widow), and you are struck by the fact that Joan is the only wife who did not suffer her husband's death, only because she and Ted were divorced. The other four were widowed. For a family seemingly so blessed with intellect, powerful connections, grit, and charm, it was also beset by horrific tragedies. Kennedy Wives is for the fan who needs to have a condensed narrative about five women integral to the Kennedy mystique. It is not for someone looking for uncovered facts. Published on VoxLibris.net @VoxLibris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rikki

    It's hard to find a family in the world who can compare with the extremes of wealth, power, passion, drive, glamour, misfortune, corruption, and infidelity, as the Kennedys. From the patriarch Joe, with his nine children and his determination to put at least one of them into the position of the utmost power and influence on the planet, none of the ghastly happenings within the family could swerve them from the destiny Joe had in mind. Therefore, the women who became the wives of his sons had to It's hard to find a family in the world who can compare with the extremes of wealth, power, passion, drive, glamour, misfortune, corruption, and infidelity, as the Kennedys. From the patriarch Joe, with his nine children and his determination to put at least one of them into the position of the utmost power and influence on the planet, none of the ghastly happenings within the family could swerve them from the destiny Joe had in mind. Therefore, the women who became the wives of his sons had to be remarkable to live up to his expectations and indeed they were. All with totally different qualities but suitable to be potential First Ladies. About the only thing they had in common was an acceptance of the infamous womanising of each of them. Rose, was a powerhouse of a woman, fiercely religious and accepting of her husband's megalomania. Jackie was a socialite, with exquisite taste and style, Ethel an energetic tomboy with a huge family who were pretty uncontrolled. Joan was the beauty who was a gifted pianist but fell prey to alcoholism, which is hardly surprising considering the trials and tribulations of life with Ted. Vicki was the second time around for Ted but carved out of the same steel it took to be a Kennedy wife. This is a fascinating account of the women who married Joe Kennedy's sons and not a happy ending for any of them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shadira

    The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family A remarkable book and a captivating family of five distinct and inspiring women, The Kennedy Wives, "the woman behind each man". Each of these five special and unique women- an integral part of our US history. Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family, is thought-provoking, well-researched, and elegantly portrayed with passion, honesty, and clarity – by talented authors, Amber Hunt and David Batcher. he The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family A remarkable book and a captivating family of five distinct and inspiring women, The Kennedy Wives, "the woman behind each man". Each of these five special and unique women- an integral part of our US history. Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family, is thought-provoking, well-researched, and elegantly portrayed with passion, honesty, and clarity – by talented authors, Amber Hunt and David Batcher. he book is broken down in parts by each woman: from the cradle, childhood, to marriage, motherhood and beyond; from politics, loves, losses, fears, successes, tragedies, addictions, sickness and health, to the grave. Part I Rose 1890-1995 Part II Ethel 1928 Part III Jackie 1929-1994 Part IV Joan 1936 Part V Vicki 1954 The Kennedy Wives is well-organized and enjoyed the easy to read format and review of history, the writing style, and the well-researched material, making for an engaging and satisfying read. Highly recommend!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Thank you to Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to review this book about the Kennedy wives. I have lived my adult life in Boston and Ted Kennedy was my Senator for most of it. I have fairly extensive knowledge of the Kennedy's histories and impact on the world and local stage. Most of this narrative was not new to me. What did seem fresh was my understanding of how Jackie Kennedy suffered through President Kennedy's distance and infidelities and the choices she made after his death. I als Thank you to Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to review this book about the Kennedy wives. I have lived my adult life in Boston and Ted Kennedy was my Senator for most of it. I have fairly extensive knowledge of the Kennedy's histories and impact on the world and local stage. Most of this narrative was not new to me. What did seem fresh was my understanding of how Jackie Kennedy suffered through President Kennedy's distance and infidelities and the choices she made after his death. I also came to understand more about Robert and Ethel Kennedy's marriage and that although Robert Kennedy was also unfaithful there was love and friendship and mutual belief at its core. For those wives that did not have that type of reciprocity life was hard and the suffering was deep. This was also the first time that I read about Vicky and Senator Kennedy's marriage and the redemption story that lays at the heart of it. Although there was not enough new material in the book overall Kennedy Wives was an engrossing read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angel Hatfield

    While the Kennedy men appeared to be very much in the public eye, either for their politics or their exploits, their wives stood quietly by their sides. This book is the story of them and everything that they went through with the triumphs and tragedies of being a Kennedy. Considering I grew up a few generations past the Kennedy era, I never witnessed what made him so appealing by the American people. Aside from the tragic death of him and his brother and that his sister married a Rat Packer, I While the Kennedy men appeared to be very much in the public eye, either for their politics or their exploits, their wives stood quietly by their sides. This book is the story of them and everything that they went through with the triumphs and tragedies of being a Kennedy. Considering I grew up a few generations past the Kennedy era, I never witnessed what made him so appealing by the American people. Aside from the tragic death of him and his brother and that his sister married a Rat Packer, I knew little else about the Kennedies. But when I saw this book, something about it drew me to it. Once I started the book, I was very surprised that I enjoyed it, even from the beginning, reading about the Matriarch Rose and what kind of woman she was. Considering the era she was in, it wasn't the kind of person I would have been. As I kept reading everything that happened to these women, I got a good understanding of what made them tick and what kept them going.I recommend this book to anyone that likes biographies and anyone that has ever had an interest in this tragic family.

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