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Synopsis

In this groundbreaking biography, historian and journalist Burton Hersh combines extensive critical research with more than fifty years of never-before-told anecdotes and observations from his lifelong acquaintance with Edward Kennedy to create an indelible portrait of one of the finest legislators and most influential senators in American history.

Hersh develops such themes as Kennedy’s deep-seated fears that he was an afterthought within his powerful, driven family, as well as Kennedy's genius for conciliation, which arguably made him a dramatically more effective senator than either of his older brothers. This book is richly laden with disclosures not made while Kennedy was alive, from amazing details pertaining to the accident at Chappaquiddick to Kennedy’s behind-the-scenes manipulations that brought down Richard Nixon.

The personal accounts the author shares, combined with in-depth reporting and insightful analysis, boldly create a revelatory account of Kennedy, one that reinterprets his public and private personas. In this fearless portrayal, Hersh has not hesitated to examine both the matchless achievements and the sometimes out-of-control private life of this legislative giant.

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