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|Named Person:||Kennedy family.; Kennedy family.; Kennedy (Familie)|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Barbara Gibson; Ted Schwarz
|Description:||346 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm|
|Responsibility:||Barbara Gibson, with Ted Schwarz.|
During her time with the Kennedy matriarch, Gibson experienced first hand many of the anecdotes she shares and she became friends with Kennedy cousins, aides, assistants, and security personnel, who revealed their Kennedy stories to her for the first time.
The Kennedys as a family have had an extraordinary impact on the politics, culture, and tabloids of the United States. The Kennedys is an examination of this most famous American dynasty from a generational perspective. Gibson examines the rise, fall, and rise of the Kennedys, fueled by the intense power drive of the clan and desire to win at any cost instilled by Joe Sr. and Rose.
This ruthless competitive streak brought the second generation to great heights with the Presidency of JFK but also great tragedy - the premature deaths of Kathleen and Joe Jr., the unwarranted lobotomy of Rosemary, and, of course, Chappaquiddick.
In the third generation we see this characteristic self-destructiveness and arrogant disregard for others passed on from their parents. Saddled with womanizing fathers and negligent mothers, the Kennedy grandchildren inherited a variety of personality problems and reckless behavior patterns that they are still struggling to overcome.
With few exceptions, all the Kennedy grandchildren have experimented with drugs, and several have become severe addicts, one cousin dying from an overdose. Gibson examines problems with physical and emotonal abuse, culminating in such public scandals as the William Kennedy Smith rape trial.
These she relates back to the experiences of the second generation in terms of how the family bands together in times of crisis to protect their own, shielding an individual from legal responsibility but not addressing the deep-rooted cause of the problem.
The Kennedys is ultimately a story of redemption as Gibson examines the accomplishments of many of the third generation, the political successes and good works, especially in the areas of the environment and education. She proves that in many ways the Kennedys are rising again, although not necessarily in the way Joe Sr. might have envisioned, as the Kennedy grandchildren live their lives in fulfillment of many of the goals to which their forebears merely paid lip service.