Customer Reviews for

True Compass: A Memoir

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

22 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

An inspirational memoir...

I have always been interested and inspired by the Kennedy family. I was so looking forward to this memoir that I started reading it the day it came out and am now finished. This autobiography is a splendid read. The family stories are truly fascinating, and he wasn't af...
I have always been interested and inspired by the Kennedy family. I was so looking forward to this memoir that I started reading it the day it came out and am now finished. This autobiography is a splendid read. The family stories are truly fascinating, and he wasn't afraid to reveal his own tragic errors. This would be a great book for an adolescent, as it really shows how a young person can overcome problems and succeed. Ted Kennedy lived through so much tragedy and heartbreak. It is how he reacted and endured through these tough times that shows his true character. Those who disagreed with his political positions will likely trash this book. This book is not for them: it's for those who want to know a little bit more about the Kennedys, and a lot more about their youngest son. I'm already knee deep in another book that I recommend wholeheartedly--EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2.0--I'm learning so much from it!

posted by Sebastian_Booker on September 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

Whitewash

This man spent a lifetime in pursuit of the most extreme liberal causes and did much to destroy our Republic. This book is a whitewash of this Radical, Socialist icon. Don't waste your money

posted by AClarion on December 17, 2009

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy

    This is a fascinating and inspiring book about Ted's life as only he can tell it. It is easy and enjoyable reading, and it feels as though Ted is
    sitting with you telling his life story, preferably on the porch at his Cape Cod home. History and historical figures come to life in remarkable detail. It is a story of courage and striving to do one's best throughout life. I highly recommend this book.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    A different perspective, especially the early years.

    This book begins with a look at the Kennedy family from the perspective of the much younger brother, which is particularly interesting prior to the President's death. He acknowledges the controversial points in his life and his family's lives, but offers little explanation or detail (the Kennedy mantra of never explain, never complain). His comments about other politicians reveals some interesting things about them and reveals more about himself. Still, it is a revealing look at his goals and his ambitions and makes him more interesting as a person in his own right.

    The book is well-written, tight, and holds your attention. Well worth the time.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Family's Faith and Perserverence in Service for Others Less Fortunate

    The family has had more than its share of tragedy, and as Rose Kennedy wrote, the wounds do not fully heal but are covered by scar tissue that lessens the pain (page 90).
    Teddy delivered some great speeches on the passing of his brothers. He quoted from Bobby's comments on their father. Love that is affection, respect and support is an incalculable source of strength. Of Bobby, Teddy wrote that he was to be '.remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it." Pages 271-2.
    Teddy remembered Jack twenty years after his death as ".an heir to wealth who felt the anguish of the poor. He was an orator of excellence who spoke for the voiceless." Page 400.
    After the death of John Jr., Teddy told a Senate prayer breakfast that the losses over the years had caused his family, even his devout mother, to cry out to God for His help on their unbelief. The ".hard fact is that God plays no favorites; that we all suffer; that we all die; that, at one point or another, we all shake our fists at God; and that if we are lucky, we all come home to God in the end." Page 479.
    I am a conservative and have never supported Senator Kennedy. Nevertheless, in view of the liberal result of the last election, I was interested in his viewpoints. My reflection on them did not change how I will vote in the next election. However, the book was well worth my time.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2009

    This book is great

    Felt like I was having a conversation with the author.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    A Good Read About a Great But Flawed Man

    I've always been an admirer of Ted Kennedy's politics, but I've also been disappointed by his personal failings. Reading the book reminded me in a poignant way that politicians are human, and it gave me even greater admiration for a man who suffered such horrific losses in his life but still chose to use that life to work for the greater good. This book is definitely worth the read, and truly humanizes a man whom, too often, has been unfairly portrayed in a one-dimensional light by his detractors. The book also provides interesting insight on some of the late 20th century's important events, from an insider's perspective.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat

    Ted Kennedy's book is more than politics. It is a remembrance of his very special growing up years, a remembrance of his slain brothers.
    We are privy to his elitist life. One of privilege that we can not even imagine. But as we know, all of that privilege made him want to help those who were without. So don't worry if you are not a democrat you will still be glad you read it. He is a remarkable man. I never liked him in life or his politics, however, I have great respect for him now. Even if I still don't agree with him.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    The Strength of the Human Spirit

    Democrat and Republicans alike will enjoy the inner lining of the Kennedy cloak. THe book is written in almost a folksy style and one which we all can relate. I was intrigued by the feelings and the power and strength of not just Teddy, but the entire family. A book for all ages that will withstand time. So many wonderful lessons to be learned too. Senator Kennedy's honesty was refreshing, and his resiliance was unbelievable.
    Find a comfortable chair and enjoy!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Whitewash

    This man spent a lifetime in pursuit of the most extreme liberal causes and did much to destroy our Republic. This book is a whitewash of this Radical, Socialist icon. Don't waste your money

    6 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    Timely read of historical significance.

    Whatever side you are on, this book gives insider information about how the government works, how laws are made and about a family that had significant impact on our national history. The personal story is compelling and gives hope to others in similar situations.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Something about the Kennedy Fam

    This book was a great read. Looking into the life of one of the greatest Senators who has outlasted tragedy & his own deamons was fantastic. Some parts I found to be winded and boring but those parts are few.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    A Memoir of a Humble and Inspirational Man

    Ted doesn't take too much credit for his successes and doesn't mention half of the incredible things he did for not only his constituents but other Americans, which makes his memoir so inspiring. He brings together small stories and accounts from his life to show how in the face of tragedy and his own personal shortcomings, he has an amazing resolve to stay the course and follow what he refers to as his 'true compass'. This is a great and quick read by the last of the Kennedy brothers. The little stories he recalls of meetings with presidents and battles over policy allow you to see some of the true nature of politics - however fascinating and sometimes disturbing in raw tidbits of recollection. I recommend it to anyone curious about how people like Ted Kennedy become powerful and valued. A great family man and amazing senator. Thanks Teddy!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy

    I first heard about Edward Kennedy's book, True Compass,on the Larry King Show when Mr. King interviewed two of Sen. Kennedy's sons. Mr. King said that it was a book that once you started reading it, it would be hard to lay down until you had completely read it. I must agree with Mr. King. To my surprise, the book was well written and showed a side of Sen. Kennedy as a family man who loved his family. The interaction of Sen. Kennedy and his brothers shows a bond that was only broken when they died one by one. In the years after his parents and brothers died, he bacame the caretaker, spokesman and patriarch of the Kennedy family, something he did with compassion and integrity.
    Sen. Kennedy writes of his life from birth to just before he died: his boyhood, being the youngest Kennedy, interactions with the members of his family, a political career, ect.
    I highly recomment this book, True Compass by Edward Kennedy.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    we finally get to hear what it was really like growing up Kennedy

    True Compass is a very well written momoir from one of the most respected legislators in senste history. over the years i have read a number of books about the Kennedys but i never got an accuareate picture of what their family was really like. until now, and i have come to learn that joe and rose kennedy were nothong like what alot of historians tell us they were like. most biographers paint joe out to be an arrogant "prick" and rose out to ba a self centered "biyatch". but the truth is they were loving and compassionate parents. they had to have been, i mean they raised a very prestigious family. this book is filled with stories you will not find anywhere else. and the research is fantastic. ted kennedy lived a fascinating life and had the pleasure of working along side his own big brothers and other great leaders, such as martin luther king jr. he truly lived a remarkable life.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Remembering the Kennedy years

    Ted wrote this book knowing that he was dying. His insights into himself and other people felt like he was looking back from the grave. Very powerful and moving.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Surprisingly open and honest account

    This book was a really open account of Ted Kennedy's life, seen from his own perspective. From chapter 1, he surprised me with the open account of his childhood and family, and continues to do so, little by little, chapter by chapter. At the end, you feel like you know and understand the man, and wish you knew him in person. He isn't trying to paint a pretty picture or wash away the imperfections and mistakes - he acknowledges the good and the bad, and becomes someone you can relate to, almost like a friend you trust, not someone you expect perfection from. Great memoir, great lessons in humanity regardless of your political orientation.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great read

    Whether you like the Kennedy's or not, this was a very interesting account of Ted's life. Seems like he had a great ride over all and in this book he shares it with every one. When I was done with the 400+ pages, I could not believe it was over. Recommend very highly!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2009

    Well Done, Mr. Senator!

    Finally, the perspective of Mr. Kennedy on the events of his life as well as the events that charted much of our history. A well written, inspiring autobiography. In spite of its privilege, not an easy life at many points, but one which included great determination, ability, redemption, and humility. Great read!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My Time With the Kennedys Ended All Too Soon

    Even though we all know the stories, most of them heartbreakingly sad, it is incredibly interesting to hear ir from Ted Kennedy himself. He does not gloss over Chappaquiddick or other faults in his life, but reading this book you will know that Senator Kennedy was a brilliant, upstanding human being who took care when he needed to and took responsibilty for his flaws. God Bless you Ted Kennedy!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    A Must Read

    This book is thought provoking and amazing. The reader will be amazed at all that Ted Kennedy had achieved (legislation, etc.). He was very quiet about all his accomplishments - and it's sad to learn all of this after his passing. The pain he endured with having two brothers murdered comes through in his own words. He was a top notch legislator for the people - we may never have another like him. Everyone should read this book - especially if you are not a fan - because once you realize all the good he did - your view will change.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting Read

    I didn't know what to expect when I bought this book. I was pleasantly surprised to read so much detail about the early years. There has been so much written about the accident, the assassinations, but not much from the childhood years. I enjoyed his reflection on growing up the younger brother of Jack and Bobby. His memories of the time spent with them as a child and what they taught him was insightful. Equally interesting was his recollections of time spent with his grandfather and his father. I think if you are looking for a more personal story of Ted and his family you would enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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