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Search tags: ted-kennedy
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quote 2016-02-21 17:32
The Dike Bridge, ugly and primitive and unrailed and unmarked, twelve feet wide and some seventy-five feet long, had been in place for twenty years, and no one had ever driven off it.
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review 2013-01-02 00:00
Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy - Ted Widmer,Caroline Kennedy Most of the conversations here are a lot more mundane than you might expect. The recordings included were chosen to show what it was like day to day to be a president facing many issues. They don't reveal any big secrets or even much new information. Even the meetings about serious issues don't make a lot of sense. All the people talk in a sort of shorthand, because they were all familiar with the particulars and the conversations weren't meant for outside ears. This is worth reading and listening to if you have a lot of patience and you like history. I thought it was especially interesting to see how much of Kennedy's time was spent cultivating good will (read: sucking up) with previous U.S. presidents and with leaders of other countries. That basic courtesy was essential to his effectiveness.
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review 2011-02-07 00:00
Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy
Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy - Peter S. Canellos A very readable biography of Ted Kennedy, senator from Massachusetts. Through his childhood, the death of his brothers, his journey through the Senate, his personal problems as well as his role as the 2008 Presential "kingmaker", this was a very interesting and quick read. I was surprised to read certain things in this book, such as his father, Joseph Kennedy, being the emotional center of the family. Other sources I had read made him the cold ambitious father.

Other points seem to be mysteriously glossed over. While the story here is about Ted Kennedy, I got the overall impression there was a lot left out, perhaps in deference to the family. For instance, there are anecdotes from the 2008 Presidential campaign that appear to be missing. One is the specifically racial comments supposedly made by Bill Clinton regarding Barack Obama. Another is "The Snub", where Obama turns around on the Senate floor to avoid Hilary Clinton, who is about to greet Kennedy, who is standing to Obama. While arguably these are really about the larger 2008 election picture and Obama and the Clintons, I was surprised at some of the lack of detail. This makes me think there are other topics either not explored, not mentioned, or given a positive sheen.

That is not to say this isn't a good book. Kennedy has done great work for the victims of 9/11 and their families, not to mention his work on health care. Also, he was also among those few who could build bridges across the aisle, for good or for ill.
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