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Edward M. Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the great Senators in the nation's history. He is also the patriarch of America's most heralded family. In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Kennedy speaks with unprecedented candor about his extraordinary life.
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. In 1962, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he learned how to become an effective legislator.
His life has been marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love for family and an abiding faith. He writes movingly of his brothers and their influence on him; his years of struggle in the wake of their deaths; his marriage to the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy; his role in the major events of our time (from the civil rights movement to the election of Barack Obama); and how his recent diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor has given even greater urgency to his long crusade for improved health care for all Americans.
Written with warmth, wit, and grace, True Compass is Edward M. Kennedy's inspiring legacy to readers and to history.
"[Kennedy] writes movingly about being the youngest of nine, and offers as loving a portrait of Joseph P. Kennedy as one is likely to read."
"[TRUE COMPASS] undoubtedly will prove an invaluable resource for any political historian attempting to construct the narrative of the past half-century, offering an insider's view of battles over various pieces of landmark legislation. Beyond politics, Kennedy offers some insight into his private life, duly acknowledging personal failings and recalling joys with affection."
"Mr. Kennedy is not a particularly introspective writer...But he writes in these pages with searching candor about the losses, joys and lapses of his life; the love and closeness of his family; the solace he found in sailing and the sea; his complex relationships with political allies and rivals. Mr. Kennedy's conversational gifts as a storyteller and his sense of humor...shine through here, as does his old-school sense of public service and his hard-won knowledge, in his son Teddy Jr.'s words, that 'even our most profound losses are survivable.'"
From the Publisher
Senator Edward M. Kennedy's death in August, 2009 was a time for a major reassessment of his life and career, as well as of his place in American history. Kennedy's great achievements and his acknowledged (and perhaps equally great) flaws were the subject of much media review, adding to the accounts in the many books already in print on both the senator himself and on the entire Kennedy clan.||TRUE COMPASS stands out as Ted Kennedy's own assessment of his public and private life. It is based on many decades of personal journals, as well as a five-years-long oral history project at the University of Virginia. In his own words, he shares his perspective on the strong bonds within his family--especially among himself and his brothers, John and Robert--the many tragedies that befell them, his relations with colleagues, and his long service in the U. S. Senate. Kennedy also directly addresses his views on the Warren Commission report, the events in Chappaquiddick in 1969, and the good fortune of finding true love late in life. Kennedy seems inextricably linked to more than a half-century of American history, and, in TRUE COMPASS, he shows that a life that seems at times to be directionless, can be set back on course. Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Books of 2009.