• The Kennedy Heirs

  • John, Caroline, and the New Generation - A Legacy of Tragedy and Triumph
  • By: J. Randy Taraborrelli
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 18 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author J. Randy Taraborrelli comes The Kennedy Heirs, his most revealing Kennedy audiobook yet. 

A unique burden was inherited by the children of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his celebrated siblings, Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy. Raised in a world of enormous privilege against the backdrop of American history, this third generation of Kennedys often veered between towering accomplishment and devastating defeat. In his revelatory new audiobook, acclaimed Kennedy historian J. Randy Taraborrelli draws back the curtain on the next generation of America’s most famous family. 

John Kennedy, Jr.’s life in the public eye is explored, following the Kennedy scion as he faced the challenges posed by marrying his great love, Carolyn Bessette. Riveting new details are shared about the couple’s tragic demise - and why Ethel Kennedy advised Carolyn not to take the trip that would ultimately end her life. John’s sister, Caroline Kennedy, had her own complicated relationships, including a marriage to Ed Schlossberg that surprised her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and an unexpected bond with her mother-in-law, Mae Schlossberg. 

Additional stories, many shared here for the first time, illuminate the rest of the Kennedy dynasty: Kara Kennedy, Ted’s daughter, and her valiant battle against lung cancer; how Ted’s wife, Vicki, introduced a new era of feminism to the Kennedy family; the lifelong struggles with addiction faced by Bobby Kennedy Jr., and Patrick Kennedy; the unexpected way pop star Taylor Swift helped Conor Kennedy heal after the death of his mother, Bobby’s wife Mary; and Congressman Joe Kennedy III’s rise to prominence. At the center of it all is the family’s indomitable matriarch, Ethel Kennedy - a formidable presence with her maddening eccentricities and inspiring courage. 

Based on hundreds of exclusive first-hand interviews and cultivated over 20 years of research - including numerous Oral Histories from the JFK Library and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute - The Kennedy Heirs is an epic drama of ambition, scandal, pride, and power.     

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 J. Randy Taraborrelli (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Kennedy Heirs

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Well written and comprehensive

The author doesn’t pull any punches in this well-written and detailed account of the Kennedys, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I learned a lot I didn’t know. The reader was good, but every now and again, it was alarmingly obvious that they had done a retake on a particular sentence or paragraph, and the voice tone, volume, and even the recording environment and quality were very different. Never heard such a bad job of this in what is supposed to be a professional recording. If it hadn’t been for that, I’d have given it 5 stars.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting Book of 70+ Years Spanning Kennedys

It’d be easy to think this literary offering might be more of the “same” info about this celebrated dynasty … but NO, J Randy Taraborrelli is a seasoned American journalist and celebrity biographer who exposes much information from behind the scenes (gleaned from interviews, private sources, etc.) Near the beginning, he states that he doesn’t cover ALL members in the Kennedy family but frankly, he doesn’t seem to leave many out. Included are scenes like Jackie and Caroline’s unusual first get-together luncheon with Mae Schlossberg; Patrick Kennedy’s memory of mother Joan entertaining on a concert stage to thousands; Ethel’s unexpected “smoke and mirrors” comment regarding Carolyn Bessette (after her initial visit to the compound); Andrew Cuomo’s frequent friction with his wife Kerry’s family; an attempted kidnapping of little Rory Kennedy during her childhood; Many generations are written about herein with much data that was new to me and many revelations occur incorporating the good, the bad and the secrets … also births, deaths, tragic losses.

P.S. Additionally, there’s mention of risky behaviour by some Kennedy youths in a Jeep the summer of 1973: the vehicle was rushed around in tight circles so quickly that it overturned and a local girl (18-year-old Pamela Kelley, David’s girlfriend) ended up thrown from the vehicle and was paralyzed for life from the chest down. Although this book does not acknowledge the legal settlement which ensued, I googled it and the pittance which she received for what became 5 decades more of her life ahead was horrendously inadequate considering the cost of living increases which have exploded upwards since then. The Kennedy’s broad-reaching MASSIVE financial worth is well disclosed by Taraborrelli so I’m disappointed there was no court-ordered review issued for set intervals because Pamela ended up in dire straits monetarily. I write this because it’s so unfair —to my thinking— that the paraplegic suffered without appropriate update attention and follow-up ... therefore I’ve protested by removing a star from the overall-stars-rating (my apologies to the author). I understand that accidents can happen but c’mon, she did not receive anywhere near even a million dollars for half a century in a wheelchair!

This is a reasonably fast-paced and thorough good book, though, and it’s jam-packed with interesting and/or fascinating tidbits to discover.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Detailed, Researched, and Documented

The details and research as well as the documentation were very important to me.
I was surprised of the “wrath” of Ethel Kennedy.
I was pleasantly surprised at Senator Ted Kennedy’s widow Victoria’s calming effect on the family. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg’s inadequacies were very evident and not at all surprising.
An important read for any interested in American Politics!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

The Kennedy heirs

What an awakening. Even though living through much of this time, at 86, I feel as though I have missed so much of history during my time. This was well written and very down to earth. I have always been a fan of the Kennedy family so I loved this book.

1 person found this helpful

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so much uninteresting detail about boring lives

These 27 Kennedy kids unfortunately don't really deserve all the attention this book gives them. Few of them have any achievements worth mentioning, particularly the star of the book JFK jr. A lot of gossip column stuff. A bad narrator make this a turn down. Taraborelli has excellent previous Kennedy family books with some meat on the bone but in this one he goes to the well one time too many!

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting, though inaccuracies and mean girlish

I finished the whole 16+ hours, and I will admit I wouldn't have unless something about it was interesting. I enjoyed learning about the many different branches of the Kennedy family, especially the historical information. Where I started to wonder if I could finish it was when I picked up on misinformation. The author tells us that Lauren Bessette's profession was 'human rights activist'. Not so, she was a Vice President for Morgan Stanley. This was something I knew so it caught my ear--it made me wonder what else wasn't accurate? A lot of the dialogue in this book HAS to be made up. No way Jackie would have retold personal conversations. What really bothered me about the book was the section about RFK Jr's sex addiction. The author seemed more intent on discussing Donald Trump and Melania, and especially maligning Melania. Give me a break! I forced myself to finish but really couldn't wait to. The narrator's voice was pretty good but sometimes the voice would change and become sort of robotic, it was a little weird at times.

4 people found this helpful

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Most interesting

I have always been intrigued with the Kennedy family. I loved all aspects of this book. It was often a challenge to keep the people separated as there were so many with the same nameI have always been intrigued with the Kennedy family. I loved all aspects of this book. It was awful often

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Knowing with out knowing the Kennedy’s

My mother and her sister were always thanking about the Kennedy’s like they’ve been there friends.
Mr Taraborrelli book, was a nice, interesting and
Elegant way to say Hi- to a family a did not known much since my mother passed away.
Yes, I recommend this audio book!

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Horny men and push-over women

That legend of the “Strong” Kennedy women is nothing but a myth. Push-overs is what they are. Husbands on the loose screwing other women and then bringing their used up penises home and have 11 kids with one woman. Disgusting.

Add mental illness leading to substance abuse and the “buck-up” mentality is the perfect time bomb. I’m surprised not as many of them have OD'd or hanged themselves.

Self-righteous, egomaniacs pretending to be noble.

SKIP

4 people found this helpful

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Not very accurate reporting

Author very one sided. Did not develop stories to correspond with history. Author had exclusive access to Kennedy’s so I’m sure he couldn’t tell bad stories.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-31-19

Very enjoyable read!

One of the best books I have read. Very fast moving and covering so many of the Kennedy family.

1 person found this helpful