The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings

Front Cover
Basic Books, Oct 15, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 676 pages
Meticulously researched both here and abroad, THE KENNEDYS examines the Kennedy's as exemplars of the Irish Catholic experience. Beginning with Patrick Kennedy's arrival in the Brahmin world of Boston in 1848, Maier delves into the deeper currents of the often spectacular Kennedy story, and the ways in which their immigrant background shaped their values-and in turn twentieth-century America-for over five generations. As the first and only Roman Catholic ever elected to high national office in this country, JFK's pioneering campaign for president rested on a tradition of navigating a cultural divide that began when Joseph Kennedy shed the brogues of the old country in order to get ahead on Wall Street. Whether studied exercise in cultural self-denial or sheer pragmatism, their movements mirror that of countless of other, albeit less storied, American families. But as much as the Kennedys distanced themselves from their religion and ethnic heritage on the public stage, Maier shows how Irish Catholicism informed many of their most well-known political decisions and stances. From their support of civil rights, to Joe Kennedy's tight relationship with Pope Pius XII and FDR, the impact of their personal family history on the national scene is without question-and makes for an immensely compelling narrative. Bringing together extensive new research in both Ireland and the United States, several exclusive interviews, as well as his own perspective as an Irish-American, Maier's original approach to the Kennedy era brilliantly illustrates the defining role of the immigrant experience for the country's foremost political dynasty.
 

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THE KENNEDYS: America's Emerald Kings: A Five-Generation History of the Ultimate Irish-Catholic Family

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A hefty, well-documented, glowing account of the Kennedys as prime examples of the Irish-Catholic experience in America.For this five-generation history of the clan from the mid-19th century to the ... Read full review

Contents

The Boys of Wexford
3
Heirs of Brian Boru
10
The Starvation
18
American Wake
24
Brahmins and Bigotry
35
The Long Climb to Acceptance
51
The Family Enterprise
67
Hard Lessons
78
Primary Lessons
313
West Virginia
326
The Fall 1960
339
The Rites of Power
359
A Catholic in the White House
361
Holy Wars
374
Conversion and Subversion
386
The Two Johns
394

The Family Faith
93
Happy Warriors
95
An Irishman in the Court of St James
113
The Vatican GoBetween
123
Tortured Souls
139
Hero Worship
160
Blood Brothers
173
A Lighter Shade of Green
191
Eire
214
Rise to the Presidency
233
The Irish Brahmin
235
A Child of Fate
249
Articles of Faith
266
A Nation of Immigrants
277
Matters of Church and State
292
A Friend in Rome
298
Doing the Right Thing
409
In the Springtime
428
The Ritual of Mourning
444
The Emerald Thread
465
A Living Wound
467
The Awful Grace of God
485
The Politics of Outsiders
499
The Ghosts of Camelot
519
Last Hurrahs
535
A Matter of Faith
550
Looking Backward and Forward
561
Legacies
589
A Note on Sources
603
Selected Bibliography
637
About the Author
655
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Thomas Maier is a staff reporter at New York Newsday. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed Dr. Spock: An American Life, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in East Northport, New York.

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