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Though three Kennedy brothers grace the cover of this book (and the fallen oldest brother, Joe. Jr., is a strong presence as well), the focus is on the youngest brother, Ted. Author Vincent Bzdek's thesis is signaled by the title. While much of the vast literature on the Kennedys focuses on their unfilled legacy, Bzdek argues that their goals have found fulfillment--largely through Ted Kennedy's decades of service in the United States Senate. Bzdek's portrait of Edward Kennedy is an unflinching one. He presents the many trials Kennedy has had to deal with--some not of his own making (the murder of his brothers, his own serious injuries in a 1964 plane crash, deaths and illnesses of other family members) and many that were his responsibility (Chappaquiddick, his ill-fated 1980 run for president, his drinking and womanizing). He portrays Kennedy as a phoenix continually rising from the ashes, emerging stronger from these tragedies and turning them into triumphs. There's extensive discussion of Kennedy's legislative accomplishments for those dispossessed and marginalized by society--minorities, women the poor--along with what the Senator regards as his "finest hour," his early unwavering opposition to the Iraq War. Kennedy's battle with a malignant brain tumor opens and closes the book. While Kennedy's life and service may be nearing its end, Bzdek believes that the Kennedy family legacy will live on in American public life for decades to come. As an admirer of the Kennedy family, I found this brief, well-written book to be a well-done summation of their lives and careers. Even those who dislike the Kennedys may find enough here to consider a reappraisal of their contributions to American life.
This book was not quite what I was expecting. This is more of a mystery novel than anything. Some of the story almost borrowed from The Secret Garden. It was a little frustrating reading because I could already piece out the mystery and the characters were too slow to pick it up. Not my favorite, but I did enjoy reading about the beautiful garden. The author has a lovely way with description.
i loved this book. it was ahead of it's time, discussing the implications of a news media run by capitalists. this book explains how, when there are wars and people dying all over the world, the national news finds time in a 30 minute broadcast to tell us stories about killer whales that attack icelandic fisherman (or whatever).