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An Unfinished Life Audiobook

An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

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Publisher's Summary

An Unfinished Life describes the birth of the Kennedy dynasty, the complexity of Jack's early years, and the mixture of adulation and resentment that tangled his relationships with his mother, Rose, and his father, Joseph. Forced into the shadow of his older brother, Joe, Jack struggled to find a place for himself until World War II, when he became a national hero and launched his career. Dallek reveals for the first time the full story of Kennedy's wartime actions and the true details of how Joe was killed, opening the door to Jack's ascendancy.

Here is the gripping story of Jack's transformation from an awkward speaker into a brilliant politician with irresistible charm. The audiobook carries us from Jack's work as a senator from Massachusetts, through the fiercely contested 1960 campaign against Nixon, and takes us on to the White House itself.

An Unfinished Life also discloses for the very first time that Kennedy was far sicker than we ever knew. While laboring to present an image of robust good health, Kennedy was secretly in and out of hospitals through-out his life, so ill that he was administered last rites on several different occasions. Here is a vivid portrait of a man who, because he knew how close he was to death, lived as much as he could - sometimes hurting others in the process.

Never shying away from Kennedy's weaknesses, Dallek also brilliantly explores his strengths. The result is a portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero.

©2003 Robert Dallek; (P)2003 Time Warner AudioBooks. A division of the AOL Time Warner Book Group.

What the Critics Say

"Sets the historical record straight...pitch-perfect prose...hands-down the best biography of JFK...a truly remarkable achievement." (Douglas Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency)
"In this riveting tour de force...Dallek delivers what will most assuredly become the benchmark JFK biography for this generation...[He] is to be thanked for providing this thoroughly researched, well-sourced, responsible and readable biography that has for so long been wanting in Kennedy scholarship." (Publishers Weekly)
"...riveting and well-documented biography." (New Yorker)
"Richard McGonagle brings the president to life, mimicking the famous accents so well that his renditions of Kennedy speeches compare favorably to Kennedy's own renderings." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (176 )
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4.4 (82 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ed Toronto, Ontario, Canada 02-02-13
    Ed Toronto, Ontario, Canada 02-02-13
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    "Kennedy Demythologized!"
    What made the experience of listening to An Unfinished Life the most enjoyable?

    This biography does not contain any strong bias towards, or away from, the Kennedy mystique. Instead, Dallek writes the facts and lets the reader determine the level of appreciation, or non-appreciation, they have for JFK. The author also uses the most up-to-date information on the life of Kennedy and weaves it seamlessly into the existing facts. A wonderful book.


    What other book might you compare An Unfinished Life to and why?

    I draw a comparison to the book, "Eisenhower: In War and Peace" by Jean Edward Smith. Both books provide a wonderful narrative of the President from youth until death. Doing so without ever straying far from facts and balanced perspective. Both books are also highly enjoyable to listen (read) to - outstanding narration. Also, the books hold the readers interest in all facets of the Presidents' lives.


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

    Kennedy: Perseverance and Pain. ... I cannot believe that with all his health issues that Kennedy was able to preside over the nation in an effective manner.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer FRESNO, CA, United States 09-02-11
    Amazon Customer FRESNO, CA, United States 09-02-11 Member Since 2014

    I am a professional photographer, a motorcyclist, and an avid reader and listener. I enjoy history, business books and

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    "Just nthe facts"

    As some other reviewers said, this narrative is just the facts, the details of Kennedy's political carrier for the most part, with about half devoted to his presidential years. Good but not great. Narrator Richard McGonagle is very good in his narration and doing Kennedy's Boston accent without going over the top, He was better then the book was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joubert Chaumont-GistouxBelgium 10-28-06
    Joubert Chaumont-GistouxBelgium 10-28-06
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    "nice but incomplete"

    an abridged version doe snto really make sense to discover the life of JFK. We hear so much about is health, but little about his US policies.
    Good for those just wishing to discover the man quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Pascoevale SouthAustralia 06-03-04
    Robert Pascoevale SouthAustralia 06-03-04
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    "Why do the great people die young"

    What an amazing life. What an amazing person. The detail of JFk's life will educate, and inspire you. Learn not well publised facts about his youth, his sickness and disabilities. How he approached the negotiating table with russian leaders. Off coarse the insight to the missle crisis and much, much more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damon Ballwin, MO, USA 08-29-03
    Damon Ballwin, MO, USA 08-29-03
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    "An unfinished nap"

    I can't listen to this book for any length of time. It should be illegal to listen to this while driving. It will put you to sleep. The narration is monotone. The content is mediocre. It seems that rather than a biography on JFK it is a history of the events during his presidency. You do not get much of a feel for who JFK was or how he made his decisions. You simply get a history lesson. One of the worst books and biographies I have read. This is in stark contrast to this Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which I just completed. It has excellent narration and you feel like you now Roosevelt.

    7 of 15 people found this review helpful

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