Stories of Life and Death from an American Family

By Clint Willis (Editor)

Da Capo Press, Paperback, 9781560253334, 360pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2001


Kennedys: Stories of Life and Death from an American Family collects 21 of the best stories about the Kennedys. Here are the real stories of brothers John, Robert, and Teddy, told by the finest political writers and social observers of the past half-century. Norman Mailer's celebrated Esquire essay about the 1960 Democratic Convention shows JFK and Jackie at the start of a new epoch in American politics and culture. Writers like Richard Reeves and Jack Newfield trace disparate threads in the Kennedy epic, from the first soldier's death in Vietnam on JFK's watch to Teddy's ineffectual but strangely moving run for the presidential nomination in 1979. Inevitably, the book recounts tragedy, from the 1948 plane crash that killed the beloved and impetuous Kathleen to the assassinations of JFK and Robert. Kennedys deals with scandal as well, but writers such as Gore Vidal, Joe McGinniss, and Seymour M. Hersh mine the stories for new meaning. The essays in this collection offer insights into the loves, hatreds, and dearest ambitions of the Kennedys and help to explain their remarkable grip on our culture.