Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Familiesby Noemie Emery
From the troubled Adams dynasty to the bitter presidential face-off between Bush and Gore family scions in 2000, political families in the United States have been pushing, prodding, and trying to shame their sons into power, with a marked effect on American history and an often devastating impact on personal lives. Spanning 230 years, these families have given us… See more details below
From the troubled Adams dynasty to the bitter presidential face-off between Bush and Gore family scions in 2000, political families in the United States have been pushing, prodding, and trying to shame their sons into power, with a marked effect on American history and an often devastating impact on personal lives. Spanning 230 years, these families have given us presidents, ambassadors, governors, and members of Congress. They have also spawned several suicides, numerous lives that were haunted or broken, more alcoholics and addicts than one can quickly enumerate, and a number of premature deaths.
The successes were often outnumbered by failures, and sometimes the "wrong" son would rise. John and Abigail Adamsand John Quincy after themwanted to produce great men and leaders, and did. They also produced four alcoholics, three of whom would die young. Everyone in Theodore Roosevelt's familyand much of the countrybelieved his first son and namesake would follow the path of his idolized father. But his claim was usurped by his fifth cousin, Franklin, who touched off a decades-long feud.
Joe Kennedy Jr. defined the words "golden boy," propelled toward the White House from birth by his imperious, iron-willed father. But it was Jack, his shy, sickly, and overlooked younger brother who finally won it, after a difficult inner journey.
Golden boys Jeb Bush and Al Gore, sons of ambitious political fathers, were seen in their school days as possible presidents (and might still someday face each other). But it was Jeb's brother George who began life at forty, becoming the first president's son since John Quincy Adams to follow his father in office and the first one to then win two terms.
From the bad boys who made good (George Bush and John Kennedy) to the good sons who lost (Al Gore and Ted Roosevelt) to Ted Kennedy (a good son and a disgrace in one singular package), Great Expectations explores two centuries of public drama and family intriguea tale that is not over yet.
The Washington Post
- Turner Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.54(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.01(d)
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What People are saying about this
—Michael Barone Senior Writer, U.S. News & World Report; Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics
"Often heart-rending, sometimes eye-popping, always fascinating - a superbly written account of some very surprising lives"
—David Frum, author of The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush
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