Hostage to Fortune by Joseph P. Kennedy
The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy

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Synopsis

The previously unpublished written legacy of America's most famous patriarch that sheds new light on his public and private persona.

Joseph P. Kennedy remains one of the most enigmatic and controversial figures in American history. From his humble beginnings as the son of Irish immigrants to his meteoric rise to statesman, diplomat, and finally to First Father, he has been both beloved and vilified. In Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy, Amanda Smith has unearthed an extraordinary treasure of her grandfather's correspondence and several previously unseen photographs in a collection that reveals his metamorphoses. It is not only a living history of Kennedy's life, but also a revelation of his vision of his own family as the embodiment of the American dream.

In the only firsthand record of his life, Hostage to Fortune begins in 1914, with the honeymoon of Joe and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in Atlantic City and ends in 1961 with Joe's disabling stroke. In between, we see the public and private Kennedy-father, husband, film producer, and New Deal government official. The correspondence between his wife and nine children is a completely loving one that too often ends in loss and grief. His relationships with the great figures of the age-Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Pope Pius XII, and Charles Lindbergh-show him courting friendships but also fighting for his beliefs, a trait that would ultimately end his public career. At once a fitting tribute to her grandfather, a great historical work, and a chronicle of America's greatest family, Hostage to Fortune will engage American history lovers as well as a public who continues to be fascinated by the Kennedy family.
 

About Joseph P. Kennedy

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Amanda Smith is Joseph P. Kennedy's granddaughter. She is a graduate student at Harvard University.
 
Published January 8, 2001 by Viking Adult. 800 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Correspondence edited by a granddaughter, providing only intermittent insight into the Kennedy patriarch's character.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Hostage to Fortune: The Lette...

Publishers Weekly

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More discerning readers, however, aware of Kennedy's well-documented (by Richard Mahoney, Ron Kessler and others) business skulduggery, political opportunism, anti-Semitism and cowardice in the face of Nazism, will find that this collection offers a sanitized, whitewashed image.

| Read Full Review of Hostage to Fortune: The Lette...

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