Customer Reviews for

Kennedys at War, 1937-1945

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    Kennedy's Transformation

    This history on the Kennedys is precious. It tells of the two oldest Kennedys (Joe and John, in that order) from their pre-war years into the aftermath the war had on them, especially the effect it had on John. The book neither criticizes but it doesn't praise either-it reads like a dispassioned novel. One gets an unsavory view of Joe Kennedy Sr. as a brilliant but spiteful Ambassador to England in which he incorrectly diagnosed the evil of Hitler while he waged war with FDR and vice versa. But if a person is to understand the real John Kennedy-the charming, affable, charismatic, and earthly character while acknowledging his less appetizing characteristics like womanizing, keeping grudges- you learn the human man of JFK that was a boy and the experience that made him into a man-WWII. Covers much ground for a basic hagiography.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2002

    Kennedys at War 1937-1945

    This is first-rate WWII history and first-rate Kennedy history. PT-109 comprises about a tenth of this book, if that. The tale Renehan weaves is far more complex and engaging than a simple retelling of the 109 fiasco. Renehan reveals the adventures (and misadventures) of all the Kennedys in the years leading up to and including World War II. I found Renehan's portrait of Kick Kennedy, and her doomed marriage, especially poignant. Renehan also does a stellar job in documenting JPK Sr.'s three troubled years as ambassador to the Court of St. James's, and gives the best description/explanation I've ever read of Joe Jr.'s tragic death while testing a flawed and ridiculous naval aviation technology in August of '44.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2002

    Kennedys at War 1937-1945

    I really enjoyed this book very much, and learned a great deal from it. Renehan paints a remarkable portrait of young Jack gradually maturing amid the rigors and tragedy of the years just before and including World War II. I'm impressed too that after all these years Renehan was still able to find some fresh voices - colleagues of Joe Kennedy Jr. and Jack from Choate, Harvard, and the Service - to interview and quote, and that these witnesses have interesting, never-before-published anecdotes to relate. The portrait of Jack on the troop-ship carrying him to the Pacific, drawn from a newly-interviewed contemporary and eye-witness, is absolutely splendid.

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