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"One of the truly great biographies of our time."--Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of Bob Dylan in America and The Rise of American Democracy "A landmark study of Washington power politics in the twentieth century in the Robert Caro tradition."--Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of American Moonshot The epic, definitive biography of Ted Ke "One of the truly great biographies of our time."--Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of Bob Dylan in America and The Rise of American Democracy "A landmark study of Washington power politics in the twentieth century in the Robert Caro tradition."--Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of American Moonshot The epic, definitive biography of Ted Kennedy--an immersive journey through the life of a complicated man and a sweeping history of the fall of liberalism and the collapse of political morality. Catching the Wind is the first volume of Neal Gabler's magisterial two-volume biography of Edward Kennedy. It is at once a human drama, a history of American politics in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and a study of political morality and the role it played in the tortuous course of liberalism. Though he is often portrayed as a reckless hedonist who rode his father's fortune and his brothers' coattails to a Senate seat at the age of thirty, the Ted Kennedy in Catching the Wind is one the public seldom saw--a man both racked by and driven by insecurity, a man so doubtful of himself that he sinned in order to be redeemed. The last and by most contemporary accounts the least of the Kennedys, a lightweight. He lived an agonizing childhood, being shuffled from school to school at his mother's whim, suffering numerous humiliations--including self-inflicted ones--and being pressed to rise to his brothers' level. He entered the Senate with his colleagues' lowest expectations, a show horse, not a workhorse, but he used his "ninth-child's talent" of deference to and comity with his Senate elders to become a promising legislator. And with the deaths of his brothers John and Robert, he was compelled to become something more: the custodian of their political mission. In Catching the Wind, Kennedy, using his late brothers' moral authority, becomes a moving force in the great "liberal hour," which sees the passage of the anti-poverty program and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Then, with the election of Richard Nixon, he becomes the leading voice of liberalism itself at a time when its power is waning: a "shadow president," challenging Nixon to keep the American promise to the marginalized, while Nixon lives in terror of a Kennedy restoration. Catching the Wind also shows how Kennedy's moral authority is eroded by the fatal auto accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969, dealing a blow not just to Kennedy but to liberalism. In this sweeping biography, Gabler tells a story that is Shakespearean in its dimensions: the story of a star-crossed figure who rises above his seeming limitations and the tragedy that envelopes him to change the face of America.


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"One of the truly great biographies of our time."--Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of Bob Dylan in America and The Rise of American Democracy "A landmark study of Washington power politics in the twentieth century in the Robert Caro tradition."--Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of American Moonshot The epic, definitive biography of Ted Ke "One of the truly great biographies of our time."--Sean Wilentz, New York Times bestselling author of Bob Dylan in America and The Rise of American Democracy "A landmark study of Washington power politics in the twentieth century in the Robert Caro tradition."--Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of American Moonshot The epic, definitive biography of Ted Kennedy--an immersive journey through the life of a complicated man and a sweeping history of the fall of liberalism and the collapse of political morality. Catching the Wind is the first volume of Neal Gabler's magisterial two-volume biography of Edward Kennedy. It is at once a human drama, a history of American politics in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and a study of political morality and the role it played in the tortuous course of liberalism. Though he is often portrayed as a reckless hedonist who rode his father's fortune and his brothers' coattails to a Senate seat at the age of thirty, the Ted Kennedy in Catching the Wind is one the public seldom saw--a man both racked by and driven by insecurity, a man so doubtful of himself that he sinned in order to be redeemed. The last and by most contemporary accounts the least of the Kennedys, a lightweight. He lived an agonizing childhood, being shuffled from school to school at his mother's whim, suffering numerous humiliations--including self-inflicted ones--and being pressed to rise to his brothers' level. He entered the Senate with his colleagues' lowest expectations, a show horse, not a workhorse, but he used his "ninth-child's talent" of deference to and comity with his Senate elders to become a promising legislator. And with the deaths of his brothers John and Robert, he was compelled to become something more: the custodian of their political mission. In Catching the Wind, Kennedy, using his late brothers' moral authority, becomes a moving force in the great "liberal hour," which sees the passage of the anti-poverty program and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Then, with the election of Richard Nixon, he becomes the leading voice of liberalism itself at a time when its power is waning: a "shadow president," challenging Nixon to keep the American promise to the marginalized, while Nixon lives in terror of a Kennedy restoration. Catching the Wind also shows how Kennedy's moral authority is eroded by the fatal auto accident on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969, dealing a blow not just to Kennedy but to liberalism. In this sweeping biography, Gabler tells a story that is Shakespearean in its dimensions: the story of a star-crossed figure who rises above his seeming limitations and the tragedy that envelopes him to change the face of America.

30 review for Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

    Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975 was a beautiful, comprehensive and extensively researched biography of Senator Edward Kennedy, with a second volume to follow. With full disclosure, I have grown up with the Kennedy family. I was in the eighth grade when John Kennedy ran against Richard Nixon in 1960, loving the convention where Bobby and Ted Kennedy were working the floor and securing the votes to win the nomination of John F Kennedy. Our family watched all of th Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975 was a beautiful, comprehensive and extensively researched biography of Senator Edward Kennedy, with a second volume to follow. With full disclosure, I have grown up with the Kennedy family. I was in the eighth grade when John Kennedy ran against Richard Nixon in 1960, loving the convention where Bobby and Ted Kennedy were working the floor and securing the votes to win the nomination of John F Kennedy. Our family watched all of the televised debates between Nixon and Kennedy, becoming very involved in politics. On Election Day, being in a Catholic school, we were all given the day following the election off so I was determined to stay up all night, only to be awakened by my father at 6:30 a.m. with still no clear winner. Coming from families emigrating in the early 1900s from Europe, my grandparents had three framed photographs proudly displayed in their living rooms: the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the pope, and President John Kennedy. What Neal Gabler does so beautifully is to capture the humanity of Edward Moore Kennedy, the youngest of the nine children of Joseph P Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, prominent Irish American families in Boston. He was not expected, as evidenced by their boat named The Ten of Us which later had to be changed. Young Teddy Kennedy was shuttled from one school to another but at the age of nine, his boarding school in Boston offered him weekends with his maternal grandfather, Honey Fitz, a lifelong politician. As they spent their weekends among the people of Boston, the youngest Kennedy was among the workers and the people of Boston witnessing his iconic grandfather at work. "Honey Fitz not only loved people--clearly loved them and loved to be around them. Honey Fitz understood people, he had an instinct for them. As Ted put it, thinking back on watching his grandfather walk those Boston streets and greet passersby, 'He knew people's problems and motivations and needs.' And this made as deep an impression on young Ted Kennedy as the glad-handing or the tales of Irish misfortune." After the assassination of John Kennedy in November 1963, President Lyndon Johnson was determined to push through all of the legislation that Kennedy embraced and the Great Society, a set of domestic programs, prevailed with the passage of bills to eliminate poverty and racial injustice resembling the far reach of The New Deal of President Franklin Roosevelt. It was at this point that many of us embraced the liberal agenda fighting for justice in the midst of the turbulent 1960s, witnessing not only the assassination of John Kennedy but the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr in April 1968, quickly followed by the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in June, 1968 in his run for the presidency. Compounding the trauma was the escalation of the war in Viet Nam with demonstrations taking place throughout the country. "Johnson's new liberal fervor seemed to have stoked Ted's and made him more liberal than he had been during his own brother's administration. He was catching the gust of the liberal wind." "Ted Kennedy was finding his niche, helping the helpless but he was also finding his lever. Even senators can be moved by morality. Even senators could feel the rightness of undoing injustice." The weight of responsibility was so heavy upon Edward Kennedy following the death of his brothers, knowing what was expected of him, but he was resolved that he would be a father-figure, not just an uncle, to his niece's and nephews. He was devastated and often the only relief was in sailing, often sailing all night, 'his grieving being subsumed into a sense of oneness with the sky and the sea.'" "So today I reassume my public responsibilities to the people of Massachusetts. Like my three brothers before me, I pick up a fallen standard. Sustained by the memory of our priceless years together, I shall try to carry forward that special commitment to justice, to excellence, and to courage that distinguished their lives." "Almost as if to steel himself to fate, Ted kept a small blue-covered copy on his desk of Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar,' with one passage underlined in red: Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once, Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange than men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come." This first volume of the biography concludes with Senator Kennedy finding his niche and fighting for his liberal agenda. The comparisons of the looming impeachment of Richard Nixon and the threat to democracy was a shocking parallel to what we are facing today as the second impeachment against former President Donald J Trump commences. Both men sought to divide the nation in their desperate need to have power at all costs. "Ted Kennedy wasn't just fighting Richard Nixon. He was fighting Nixon's ability to reconfigure power in the United States government: awesome power with no discipline." "Richard Nixon was gone, but even as Gerald Ford was trying to heal a nation badly wounded by Watergate, Nixon had not left the government without also leaving wreckage, without damaging its institutions and processes, damaging them badly. Now Congress attempted to rectify that damage, and not least among the legislators was Ted Kennedy."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I don't know when I was more moved by a biography. I was inspired and I suffered and cried along with Ted Kennedy. I was informed and I understood how we got to 'here'. The "Shakespearean tragedy" of the Kennedy family is experienced through this youngest son. The most affable Kennedy, the pleaser, the people person, the least son, inherited a heavy mantle. When President Kennedy was assassinated, Bobby took up his cause and legacy, grew into the liberal leader role with a heightened moral awarene I don't know when I was more moved by a biography. I was inspired and I suffered and cried along with Ted Kennedy. I was informed and I understood how we got to 'here'. The "Shakespearean tragedy" of the Kennedy family is experienced through this youngest son. The most affable Kennedy, the pleaser, the people person, the least son, inherited a heavy mantle. When President Kennedy was assassinated, Bobby took up his cause and legacy, grew into the liberal leader role with a heightened moral awareness. And when Bobby was assassinated, it was up to Ted to finish their work, and he became the liberal lion of the Senate, the moral consciousness of America politics. Neal Gabler's biography Catching the Wind reads like a epic poem, the flawed hero doing battle for the least and the lost. The story is a tragedy, the hero's fatal flaws bringing his downfall, but in this story, the hero gets up over and over to take up the sword once more. This volume delves deeply into the Kennedy family character and history as the formation for the development of the children. Finding his way to the Senate, Ted found his place in life, but the pressure to run for the presidency was both a siren call and a warning. Ted was sure he would be the target of one more assassin's bullet. Ted was a workaholic, and a drinker, and he had girlfriends and a wife who felt lost and, like her parents, resorted to alcohol. Then there was the encounter with the bridge on an island that gave his enemies the weapon they needed. Liberalism has been under attack for most of my adult life. I embraced it since mock voting in junior high; a classmate explained that Goldwater was a hawk and LBJ wanted to end poverty. My faith and my politics embraced the values of fighting for the meek and the weak and the downtrodden and the stranger and the impoverished. Following Ted Kennedy's career, Garbler shows how racism and fear led to the rise of 'law and order' after the social unrest of the 1960s, the anti-war and black rebellions in the cities. I lived through much of this history, my first awareness of politics coming with John Kennedy's presidential run, Ted's nightmare Chappaquiddick occuring when I was in college, the Watergate break-in carried out on my wedding night. As a teenager I was resentful of these conflicts and the pressure to politicize my life when all I wanted was to 'grow up'. I was also sympathetic, for I had seen the inner city and the racism espoused by working class neighbors. I was too naive to understand the racist implications of 'law and order'. And as I entered young adulthood, I watched in dismay as liberalism was abandoned by Americans. Joe McCarthy's fear-mongering populism, Nixon's deep hatred of all persons Kennedy leading to his dirty tricks, and the fact that America ultimately rejected them, brings some hope that we can and will do so again. I can not wait for Garbler's second volume. I usually read several books at a time, but I was so immersed in Catching the Wind I could not read anything else. I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    This book is the first of a two part biography of Edward Kennedy. It is well written and well researched. It counters a lot of common belief about him and the reason for his escapades. It digs deeper into this early background and experiences which helped to shape him in later life. This is not a book for the casual reader of the Kennedys. The chapters are very long and somewhat dense at times. It takes dedication, focus and periodic breaks in order to get through it, but it is worth the time. I This book is the first of a two part biography of Edward Kennedy. It is well written and well researched. It counters a lot of common belief about him and the reason for his escapades. It digs deeper into this early background and experiences which helped to shape him in later life. This is not a book for the casual reader of the Kennedys. The chapters are very long and somewhat dense at times. It takes dedication, focus and periodic breaks in order to get through it, but it is worth the time. I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my nonfiction book review blog.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    Incredibly well researched and well written. Thoughtful perspectives regarding Edward Kennedy and his family, as well as excellent insights into American politics. Some of the chapters are a bit dense but all contribute to the author’s historical perspective. The early years of Joe Kennedy Sr. and the evolution of his family and politics are among the most fascinating aspect of the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    While providing an interesting theme of transgression and repentance as EMK’s story, this book is too long. The unending details of Congressional legislation could have been abbreviated- should have been abbreviated. Having just read new JFK biography, this book’s portion on family dynamics is quite different. I feel a sense of accomplishment for having gotten through this. Not sure I’ll live long enough to read Vol. II when it’s published.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Hart

    This book is an attempted whitewash of an odious man who has for too long received a pass for absolutely depraved behavior - behavior which he got away with and for which he never showed remorse. Gabler treats these deliberate decisions of Kennedy's as mere tragedies that happened to him rather than the decisions of an awful human being who believed he could get away with anything and did not care who he hurt. With a decade having passed since Kennedy's death, it is past time for us to re-assess This book is an attempted whitewash of an odious man who has for too long received a pass for absolutely depraved behavior - behavior which he got away with and for which he never showed remorse. Gabler treats these deliberate decisions of Kennedy's as mere tragedies that happened to him rather than the decisions of an awful human being who believed he could get away with anything and did not care who he hurt. With a decade having passed since Kennedy's death, it is past time for us to re-assess why we let him get away with doing such horrible things - sexual assault, deliberately leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to drown/suffocate so he could save his political career - rather than trying to act as though he was so special that no more moral person could possibly have carried the torch of liberalism. Gabler is trafficking in fantasy and lies, and he despicably tries to justify or minimize the objectively terrible behavior of Kennedy, rather than forcing us to reckon with our inability to hold him to account all these years. It's especially disappointing - and galling - that such a book could be taken seriously in 2020. The era covered by this book ends six years after Chappaquiddick and ten years before Ted Kennedy sexually assaulted a Georgetown waitress while his Senate colleague Chris Dodd (D-CT) stood by and laughed. The former incident is one for which no serious person could believe Kennedy had any remorse - he made jokes about it for years, something his close friend Ed Klein revealed shortly after Kennedy’s death; Klein talked about how it showed Kennedy's ability to "see the other side of things", rather than his ability to have no regret for an action that caused the death of a young woman and should have sent him to prison. In other words, it is well past time to have a reckoning with the pass this vile POS has received from the press and the political establishment. The fact that he supported legislation to help poor people and ensure civil rights protections does not excuse any of the criminal and abusive behavior he was guilty of, and books like this are effective at preventing the reckoning so desperately needed. On another note, Gabler does not even analyze or deal with the irony that Ted Kennedy felt Nixon was “the antithesis of his brothers”, given that JFK was close friends with Nixon in the 1950s, RFK voted for the Ike/Nixon ticket in 1956, and JFK privately told Nixon that he would vote for him in 1960 if a Democrat not named JFK won the Democratic nomination. It’s almost as if Ted had a false image of RFK/JFK, and lionized them based on a myth - and that same delusion spread to the media and political establishment in their treatment of Ted Kennedy and his legacy. Gabler is either delusional or willfully trafficking in that myth - and I'm not sure which of those two possibilities is worse. Hopefully in the future a liberal or nonpartisan historian will take on the job of cleaning up/correcting the record, rather than trying to continue the perpetuation of the fairy tales that have for too long excused the depraved behaviors of the Kennedy clan.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    quite the door-stopper (736 pages for this first volume). Per the author note he spent 10 years on it and read just about everything -- only got an interview from one of Ted's sons. As might therefore be predictable........there are some boring skimmable parts, for me mostly when he's going over and over the back-and-forth on successful or failed attempts to get a bill passed. One of his themes is the not-controversial-to-my-knowledge contention that Kennedy was an unusually effective legislator quite the door-stopper (736 pages for this first volume). Per the author note he spent 10 years on it and read just about everything -- only got an interview from one of Ted's sons. As might therefore be predictable........there are some boring skimmable parts, for me mostly when he's going over and over the back-and-forth on successful or failed attempts to get a bill passed. One of his themes is the not-controversial-to-my-knowledge contention that Kennedy was an unusually effective legislator in spite of all his personal and behavioral issues, and that's of course important, but I didn't need quite so much granular detail to back it up. Nothing new on Chappaquiddick -- author is dismissive of the notion that Kennedy was having any sort of affair with Mary Jo Kopechne, reiterates at length Kennedy's various explanations of his actions (confused, wished it weren't true, numb, tried everything..............) and just sort of leaves hanging the bizarre delays in reporting the accident (hmmm, call the police or set up a meeting with my advisors to go over the implications of it all and sleep it off? not that tough a call it would seem, but apparently so). I'd forgotten how close in time that event was to moon landing, which is my dominant memory from that month for sure. Other episodes brought back a lot of memories -- RFK assassination for sure, '68 presidential campaign [somehow the author failed to mention the clever "I'm a Humphrey-Muskieteer" t-shirts thick on the ground among my classmates, in honor of our classmate Ned Muskie, who was running for VP"], etc. Other factoids were new to me -- i'd either not heard or forgotten that Kennedy went to Portsmouth Priory for a bit -- brother school to my high school also run by Benedictines. Apparently he hated it, so maybe that's why it doesn't come up much. Also kept a "No Irish Need Apply" sign on the wall of his office. Sometimes hard to convince the young people that we're not so many generations away from having been looked down on in this country. Anyway, I'm starting to ramble just like this book does, so I'll bring it in for a landing. If you just can't get enough Kennedy material, by all means take a look. Otherwise, I'd say it's optional. And try Anthony Lukas' Common Ground if you want a focus on the Boston busing controversy that gets a lot of play toward the end of this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    I'm not a huge fan of biographies, especially of legislators, but Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour held my interest -- all 741 pages of it. And this is only the first of two volumes! According to author Neal Gabler, as Teddy Kennedy was growing up, he was seen as the least (youngest) brother, but also the least talented, the least serious, least capable, least reliable. And then, through hard work, he defied all those low expectations and became one of the most important leg I'm not a huge fan of biographies, especially of legislators, but Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour held my interest -- all 741 pages of it. And this is only the first of two volumes! According to author Neal Gabler, as Teddy Kennedy was growing up, he was seen as the least (youngest) brother, but also the least talented, the least serious, least capable, least reliable. And then, through hard work, he defied all those low expectations and became one of the most important legislators in American history, becoming the "face of modern liberalism." The book depicts Teddy's childhood as difficult, with a distracted mother and an emotionally distant father. Under intense pressure to live up to his older brothers and to fulfill his father's high expectations, Teddy faced emotional challenges from day one. The book follows Teddy through those early years, college, marriage, campaigning, scandals, legislative successes, up until 1975 (more to follow in volume 2). Well written and exhaustively researched, the book is not just a biography of Teddy, but also a history of political power in the mid 1900's, including extensive sections devoted to John F Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Richard Nixon. While I found the book highly informative, I did get tired of the psychoanalyzing -- the author seemed to come up with a theory of Teddy, and then made all the facts of his life fit into that theory. And it was so repetitious! How many times did we have to read-- Teddy was the lesser son, the youngest, the plodder, the least, the one with a sense of inadequacy? And did I say repetitious? Gabler often gave five or six versions of the same trivial event: Teddy said X and on another occasion he said Y and in a speech he once recalled XYXY and his mother said XY and his aide remembered YX, and his neighbor recalled YYX. If it doesn't matter, why give 6 versions of the same story? Did the phone call occur on Tuesday or Wednesday, and who was in the room? Tedious. So, an interesting and comprehensive biography, a fascinating look at the work of politics and the history of liberalism -- but sometimes tedious. Take out all the repetitions and alternate stories and the book would've been much shorter and no less informative.

  9. 4 out of 5

    K2 -----

    What a research project to tackle. Gabler said in an interview he spent ten years researching and writing this book and the next volume. I am sure Teddy had many flaws but this book focuses primarily on his devotion to his work and his focus on a worthy liberal agenda that continues to slowly gain traction. I found it a great read and although I read Joyce Carol Oates BLACKWATER and think it may be her best work, this was a different perspective on that incident that crushed Teddy's chance at the What a research project to tackle. Gabler said in an interview he spent ten years researching and writing this book and the next volume. I am sure Teddy had many flaws but this book focuses primarily on his devotion to his work and his focus on a worthy liberal agenda that continues to slowly gain traction. I found it a great read and although I read Joyce Carol Oates BLACKWATER and think it may be her best work, this was a different perspective on that incident that crushed Teddy's chance at the presidency. Readers are allowed to see things from his shoes, the youngest of such a lauded clan, with high expectations and a live for today feeling because of the horrid losses throughout his life. I am ready to read the second volume but I guess I will have to wait until next year unless Neal sends me a galley. LOL.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    This was not a "sweeping biography" as the blurb claims. It does hit most of the highlights of "Teddy's" life, but I thought it strayed rather far afield into both JFK's and RFK's lives, as well as that of "Tricky Dick" to qualify as a Ted Kennedy biography. Very little of his childhood and youth. Covered a fair bit of his significance as a Senator, but little about the dynamics of legislation into which Teddy would most certainly have been immersed. Actually a relatively fair treatment of the e This was not a "sweeping biography" as the blurb claims. It does hit most of the highlights of "Teddy's" life, but I thought it strayed rather far afield into both JFK's and RFK's lives, as well as that of "Tricky Dick" to qualify as a Ted Kennedy biography. Very little of his childhood and youth. Covered a fair bit of his significance as a Senator, but little about the dynamics of legislation into which Teddy would most certainly have been immersed. Actually a relatively fair treatment of the events surrounding the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick, which surprised me based on the Teddy worship evidenced elsewhere.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jean Kelly

    The book delivers as promised - not just a biography of Ted Kennedy but the life of the Liberalism of that time. While reading I felt in mourning for that more optimistic time when people felt they could make a difference and had leaders to look to for raising aspirations. Sad that Volume 1 covered so many deaths - President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr.- and the death of that time in history. The author makes it all come alive. He also relates the death of Mary Jo Kopechne with The book delivers as promised - not just a biography of Ted Kennedy but the life of the Liberalism of that time. While reading I felt in mourning for that more optimistic time when people felt they could make a difference and had leaders to look to for raising aspirations. Sad that Volume 1 covered so many deaths - President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr.- and the death of that time in history. The author makes it all come alive. He also relates the death of Mary Jo Kopechne without the sensationalism that is often part of that tragedy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    I started this book eagerly, but found myself skimming more than reading once past the first 250 pages or so. If you're going to take a deep dive (736 pages, not counting a lengthy introduction) into someone's life, you had better be a good writer and a better self-editor. I found Gabler's habit of starting paragraphs and sentences with "And..." and "But..." to be an annoying affectation. There was also too much repetition, and perhaps too much speculation. That said, if you want a detailed acco I started this book eagerly, but found myself skimming more than reading once past the first 250 pages or so. If you're going to take a deep dive (736 pages, not counting a lengthy introduction) into someone's life, you had better be a good writer and a better self-editor. I found Gabler's habit of starting paragraphs and sentences with "And..." and "But..." to be an annoying affectation. There was also too much repetition, and perhaps too much speculation. That said, if you want a detailed account of Kennedy's first 43 years, this is the place to look.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Schachter

    An excellent biography of Ted Kennedy cloaking in at 735 pages of text — and only getting to 1975. So you REALLY have to want to read a lot about Kennedy and the Kennedy clan and era. But if you do, then this is the book for you. Seemingly even handed, if not a bit admiring. Comprehensive and very detailed look into Chappaquiddick, although apt to disappoint those looking for new or sordid motives or findings. I, for one, cannot wait for the remaining volume and in depth look at the Carter years An excellent biography of Ted Kennedy cloaking in at 735 pages of text — and only getting to 1975. So you REALLY have to want to read a lot about Kennedy and the Kennedy clan and era. But if you do, then this is the book for you. Seemingly even handed, if not a bit admiring. Comprehensive and very detailed look into Chappaquiddick, although apt to disappoint those looking for new or sordid motives or findings. I, for one, cannot wait for the remaining volume and in depth look at the Carter years, the 1980 election, and the read of Kennedy’s Senate career.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Excruciatingly detailed. The broader details of EMK's life are well chronicled, and much secondary material is quoted in this lengthy tome. What's less familiar to most readers is the back-room details of his role in legislative—and political—matters. Excruciatingly detailed. The broader details of EMK's life are well chronicled, and much secondary material is quoted in this lengthy tome. What's less familiar to most readers is the back-room details of his role in legislative—and political—matters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

    The review is pretty simple: liberals good; conservatives bad. Teddy Kennedy; poor little rich boy who is conflicted and sometimes lets his penis guide him. He is a better man after Mary Jo dies in his car. Nixon is evil. End of review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    736 pages and this is only Vol. 1! Very Robert Caro and very good. I will suffice with the NYTimes review which is why I decided to get the book from the library. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/bo... 736 pages and this is only Vol. 1! Very Robert Caro and very good. I will suffice with the NYTimes review which is why I decided to get the book from the library. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/bo...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wallace Mckenzie

    First of a two biography of Ted Kennedy. Has a number of stories about his youth and early years. Not as critical as it could be, but still a good read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Bohnert

    I enjoyed volume one of this fascinating biography of Edward Kennedy. I learned a great deal about him and look forward to reading volume two when it's published. I enjoyed volume one of this fascinating biography of Edward Kennedy. I learned a great deal about him and look forward to reading volume two when it's published.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bob Peru

    mostly interesting bio of EMK.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    No mention of human rights or Uruguay

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joe Stevens

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suzi B

  23. 5 out of 5

    bookmammal

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Leslie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Roth

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  27. 4 out of 5

    Doug

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mattcale3

  29. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Jacobs

  30. 5 out of 5

    David

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