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True Compass Audiobook

True Compass: A Memoir

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Publisher's Summary

The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother John F. Kennedy, recounted here in loving detail. In 1962 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he began a fascinating political education and became a legislator.

In this historic memoir, the late Ted Kennedy takes us inside his family, re-creating life with his parents and brothers and explaining their profound impact on him. For the first time, he describes his heartbreak and years of struggle in the wake of their deaths. Through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time - civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland - and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans, a fight influenced by his own experiences in hospitals.

His life was marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love of family, and an abiding faith. There have been controversies, too, and Kennedy addresses them with unprecedented candor.

At midlife, embattled and uncertain if he would ever fall in love again, he met the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. Facing a tough reelection campaign against an aggressive challenger named Mitt Romney, Kennedy found a new voice and began one of the great third acts in American politics, sponsoring major legislation, standing up for liberal principles, and making the pivotal endorsement of Barack Obama for president.

Hundreds of books have been written about the Kennedys. True Compass will endure as the definitive account from a member of America's most heralded family, an inspiring legacy to listeners and to history, and a deeply moving story of a life like no other.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2009 Edward M. Kennedy; (P)2009 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Ann O'Toole 06-15-12
    Ann O'Toole 06-15-12 Member Since 2010

    Ann T. O'Toole

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    "Memories of a Life Time ..."
    What did you love best about True Compass?

    What impressed me most were the memories that came flooding back as I listened to the retelling of his life time. I couldn't help but be impressed with "the presence of the moment", as he rewound time and I began to relive so many of the times that we had shared from our different points of view. I had often wondered what he had thought ~ about this or that ~ then. Listening, the moments returned, greeted as if familiar forgotten friends, with an unexpected, "Oh yea...", tumbling from my lips. I had forgotten, I had wondered about that. The answers to those long ago questions brought mixtures of responses all the way from ~ just what I had thought - to unexpected surprises of things I never knew, things no one but he - could have known, each with still the sweetness of spending time becoming reacquainted with a long ago friend. If you are 'of an age' to remember the times that recorded his entrance on life's stage, you are likely to share some of the same experiences, regardless of your political persuasion.And regardless of when your time-line crosses his, there are things to learn ~ about being human. About surviving disasters. While being awed by an iron-will that refuses to give up hope, that persists to become a force of nature in-and-of-itself, that is a Life Fully and Well - Lived!


    What other book might you compare True Compass to and why?

    There must be, but I can't think of one.


    Which character – as performed by John Bedford Lloyd – was your favorite?

    The reading of this book ~ served as the voice of Ted Kennedy ~ well. I felt that Ted, was grateful upon hearing it in heaven.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I will listen to this book again. While it renewed the loss of his passing, it also refreshed my faith in the possibility living within the human spirit, which always seemed to me, to be the message, those happy band of brothers, strove to demonstrate, to engender and to lead.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark W. Putnam 07-25-10 Member Since 2015

    Putnam

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    "Passionate politician"

    You get a true understanding of the wealth in which Kennedy was born which helps one to understand why he feels the upper 1/3 needs to provide for the lower 2/3's. The book gives you an understanding of how hard he worked for national health insurance and why, and how sad for him that he did not see it achieved, but probably better for the country. I can only say there must be a good reason that in his lifetime he could not obtain a national health insurance program. I am glad I read the book and think everyone, regardless of political persuasion will find it interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Restlessgranny 05-25-10
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    "Truly enjoyed!"

    This was a great insite into the Kennedy family. I enjoyed this book. I believe that he speaks from the heart about very personal family things. I was surprised that he speaks to the car incident out on the Cape. I felt that he was being very true ...different hearing about it from him than what was in the news. I believe that this is a wonderful read. Hope that all will enjoy as much as I have.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. M. Walker Harrisburg, PA 03-17-10
    J. M. Walker Harrisburg, PA 03-17-10 Listener Since 2008
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    "An illuminating glimpse at our history"

    An illuminating look at the last fifty years of our history.
    Not as insightful as it might be.
    Not great literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 01-30-10
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 01-30-10 Member Since 2012
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    "Truly disappointing"

    When I write my autobiography, I'm going to pattern it after Ted Kennedy's book. My family will be honest, true, wonderful and without any faults, and I will have learned valuable lessons from every experience in life. I suppose that when the subject is Ted Kennedy, we will always feel as if he never is completely honest regarding some events; with his passing, I suppose we have to move beyond any lingering doubts. I hoped for more insight regarding Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, but again, he kept it safe. I did understand a bit more about his interest in healthcare, but overall I found the book a little too pristine.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Fabbri Bainbridge Island, WA United States 01-19-10
    J. Fabbri Bainbridge Island, WA United States 01-19-10 Member Since 2016
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    "History that is interesting"

    I don't often listen to autobiographies, but this had such historical significance for most of us. Kennedy walks through each of the presidential administrations with grace and at times remarkable diplomacy.
    The influence of his family is unmistakable as is his loyalty.
    Very interesting, entertaining and easy to read (listen to.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikki WICHITA, KS, United States 01-08-10
    Vikki WICHITA, KS, United States 01-08-10
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    "What an awesome book."

    This is truly one of the best books I have heard in years! Senator Kennedy's story shows what a humble man he was. You will get answers to questions that you may have had, for years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Port Orchard, WA, USA 11-20-09
    Laura Port Orchard, WA, USA 11-20-09 Member Since 2002
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    "Incredible Book"

    Enjoyed the family dedication and love Senator Kennedy wrote about as well as the honesty in discussing his life. I grew up with the Kennedy name in America and loved the human aspect this book gives to the family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah 11-10-09
    Rebekah 11-10-09 Member Since 2008
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    "tales from recent history"

    If you are looking for Kennedy gossip, this is not the book for you. Senator Kennedy avoided the tabloid territory and explored history he witnessed. I recommend this book for those interested in recent history from an insider's view. He gives good insight into the running of political campaigns and how the senate works.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    10-29-09
    10-29-09 Member Since 2008
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    "The Man behind the Senator"

    There was so much I did not know about Ted Kennedy. His public persona as detailed in the press is very different from his very private personal life. I enjoyed every word and did not want this book to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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