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The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy | [David Nasaw]

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy

Joseph Patrick Kennedy - whose life spanned the First World War, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the Cold War - was the patriarch of America’s greatest political dynasty. The father of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy, 'Joe' Kennedy was an indomitable and elusive figure whose dreams of advancement for his nine children were matched only by his extraordinary personal ambition and shrewd financial skills.
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Publisher's Summary

Celebrated historian David Nasaw brings to life the story of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, in this, the first and only biography based on unrestricted and exclusive access to the Joseph P. Kennedy papers.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy - whose life spanned the First World War, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the Cold War - was the patriarch of America’s greatest political dynasty. The father of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy, 'Joe' Kennedy was an indomitable and elusive figure whose dreams of advancement for his nine children were matched only by his extraordinary personal ambition and shrewd financial skills. Trained as a banker, Kennedy was also a Hollywood mogul, a stock-exchange savant, a shipyard manager, the founding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and ambassador to London during the Battle of Britain. Though his incredible life encompasses the very heart of the American century, Joseph Kennedy has remained shrouded in rumor and prejudice for decades.

Drawing on never-before-published material from archives on three continents, David Nasaw - the renowned biographer of Andrew Carnegie and William Randolph Hearst - unearths a man far more complicated than the popular portrait. Was Kennedy an appeaser and isolationist, an anti-Semite and Nazi sympathizer, a stock swindler, a bootlegger, and a colleague of mobsters? Did he push his second son into politics and then buy his elections for him? 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 his FBI? How did he influence his son’s politics and policies in the White House?

In this groundbreaking biography, Nasaw ignores the tired old answers surrounding Kennedy, starting from scratch to discover the truth behind this misunderstood man.

Though far from a saint, Joseph Kennedy in many ways exemplifies the best in American political, economic, and social life. His rags-to-riches story is one of exclusion and quiet discrimination overcome by entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and unshakable endurance. Kennedy’s story deserves to be told in full, with no holds barred, and Nasaw’s magnificent The Patriarch is the first book to do so.

©2012 David Nasaw (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Kim 08-24-13
    Kim 08-24-13 Member Since 2002

    krhitme

    ratings
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    "Joseph P Kennedy, American Partriot"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Highly reccomend THIS BOOK.

    This is a most powerful book.
    Until I listened to The Patriarch, I was not a Kennedy fan. I had always head he had mob connections but after hearing this book I believe they were but jealous lies. In his time perhaps he would have been a better President. I wish the book had written sooner.

    Joseph P Kennedy is an American Patriot. His detractors are just that, detractors.

    The performance was flawlessly executed. Well worth the time spent listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael United States 06-07-13
    Michael United States 06-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    3
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    "Triumph !! and.............."
    Would you listen to The Patriarch again? Why?

    In a heart beat..........Well written & a very interesting "20th Century" personality


    What other book might you compare The Patriarch to and why?

    Bios but this is a little different. He has his moments but mainly a very focused personality


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    Yes .....No problem


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    He was a filmmaker & would "comeback to produce".


    Any additional comments?

    If you are in anyway interested in the "Kennedy's"..be sure to read / listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Tampa, FL, United States 06-04-13
    Mary Tampa, FL, United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Knowing Joseph Kennedy"
    Where does The Patriarch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a very good biography. Not the most exciting non-fiction audiobook I've listened to, but still very enjoyable and informative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked best the author's analysis outsiders' opinion of Joe Kennedy was the best part. He gives both the central character's opinions, but also those of outsiders, citing writings and interviews and even speculating based on actions and knowledge of Kennedy's contemporaries.


    What does Malcolm Hillgartner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed his use of appropriate accents when reading quotes by different people in the book. It was wide-ranging, but particularly pronounced in the Bostonian and English accents.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book encourages thought and pondering of the people in the book as well as the times they lived in. I cannot say it was one I would have enjoyed in a single sitting, as the facts presented are a lot to digest.


    Any additional comments?

    I think it's the best way to read this kind of book. The sentences of this particular author are very long, and in some places the topic is a little dry. An audio book is ideal for these sorts of books in which you want to get the facts and the story, but don't want to have to sit and read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 05-11-13
    Richard Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 05-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The must read book to understand the Kennedys"

    Several biographies on Jack and Ted led me to want to know more about their father Joe, which brought me to Nasaw's biography, an extraordinary biography of a fascinating man whose influence on his children can not be understated. Kudos to Nasaw whose extensive research allows him to present both a deep dive into this historically important man, but also an unusually unbiased discussion. So whilst I came away with strong view that this was an evil man, I was equally struck with immense respect for his deeply felt principles, his unflinching dedication to them, his extraordinary accomplishments, and the tragedies he endured.

    But most of all was the insights into this family that helped me to understand his children in ways that multiple biographies on each of them failed to convey. Joe was more than a force. He was an industrialist success story to rival Carnegie. He was as involved in his family as he was in his business, with tactics in each that inspire and revolt. His devotion and dysfunction in his marriage is extraordinary, perhaps an exageration of his era that is hard to comprehend today. That he had so many children develop such extraordinary lives and be such a force for this country is a reflection of this aptly titled book--the remarkable life and turbulent times of Joe Kennedy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Lansdowne, PA, United States 02-19-13
    Vincent Lansdowne, PA, United States 02-19-13 Listener Since 2010
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    "Great listen"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Patriarch?

    For me it was probably when the family was notified of sister Kathleens death.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    Everything. His changing accents for different characters was excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Probably. But for me it was better to do it a couple of chapters at a time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice United States 02-04-13
    Janice United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Just Okay"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It wasn't always that interesting, so some of my time was well-spent other times I just started day dreaming because it didn't hold my interest.


    Has The Patriarch turned you off from other books in this genre?

    somewhat


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, I have not listened to him before.


    Was The Patriarch worth the listening time?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    If there's an abridged version, go for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter United States 02-01-13
    Peter United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "The man behind the myth"
    If you could sum up The Patriarch in three words, what would they be?

    great story of a man with great highs and lows in his life


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Patriarch?

    The death of Joe Jr


    Which character – as performed by Malcolm Hillgartner – was your favorite?

    The subject


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Man behind the myth


    Any additional comments?

    The reader was excellenT

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noreen United States 01-31-13
    Noreen United States 01-31-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A true modern tragedy. Fascinating to listen to."
    What made the experience of listening to The Patriarch the most enjoyable?

    Understanding more about lives that are part of our common history


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rose.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    Clear to listen to with that wonderful Boston inflection. He made the experience feel personal.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A true American tragedy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 01-02-13
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Sensitive critic

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    "Very well done, but a bit slow at times"

    I have always been interested in the Kennedys and found this book to be fascinating, however the author goes into so much detail that at times I found myself skipping a few parts. I'm also interested in history, so believe me, it had to be a LOT of detail to turn me off a bit.

    Otherwise extremely well done, I'd recommend it to my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan San Francisco, CA, United States 12-20-12
    Ryan San Francisco, CA, United States 12-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining and well worth the listen"
    Where does The Patriarch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank it right near the top with Steve Jobs Biography.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Patriarch?

    The entire portion of the book related to the beginning of World War II when Joe Kennedy was Ambassador to England.


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nothing extreme, but a very satisfied listening experience.


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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