Joseph P. Kennedy: The Mob, the Mogul, the Statesman, and the Making of an American Myth

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Advance Praise for Joseph P. Kennedy

"Ted Schwarz gives us a darker, and truer, picture of the founding father (and only Kennedy to ever make any money) than the habitual family spinmeisters and hagiographers."
–Axel Madsen, author of Gloria and Joe: The Star-Crossed Love Affair of Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy

What price glory?

He is best known as the patriarch of America’s most loved, hated, and talked-about family. Long before the Kennedy ...

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Overview

Advance Praise for Joseph P. Kennedy

"Ted Schwarz gives us a darker, and truer, picture of the founding father (and only Kennedy to ever make any money) than the habitual family spinmeisters and hagiographers."
–Axel Madsen, author of Gloria and Joe: The Star-Crossed Love Affair of Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy

What price glory?

He is best known as the patriarch of America’s most loved, hated, and talked-about family. Long before the Kennedy name became synonymous with wealth, political idealism, and agonizing tragedy, however, Joe Kennedy was on the move. This unflinching portrait of the man who sired three major twentieth-century political figures introduces copious new information about Joseph Kennedy’s questionable financial practices, his Hollywood exploits, his tenure as ambassador to Great Britain, and his relationship with organized crime. Drawing on previously untapped sources, author Ted Schwarz provides a rare peek into Joseph Kennedy’s secret activities and public accomplishments, including:

  • Baseball scams that Kennedy concocted as an adolescent
  • Kennedy’s cynical manipulation of Franklin Roosevelt’s son
  • His business dealings with Al Capone
  • Kennedy’s very public affair with actress Gloria Swanson
  • How he transformed Hollywood studios into product manufacturers
  • His dismal performance as ambassador to Great Britain
  • And much, much more
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publicity for this bio says that Schwarz (The Peter Lawford Story; Rose Kennedy and Her Family) "reveals for the first time the true story of this larger-than-life patriarch." One wonders how this can be the case, as Schwarz appears to base his book heavily on very loosely referenced secondary sources (he mentions interviews with "invisible" Kennedy staff members, but this is vague). The star witness Schwarz breathlessly announces in his intro - Barbara Gibson, onetime personal secretary to Rose Kennedy - is hardly referenced at all, but then neither is anyone else. Schwarz's 22 chapters have a total of only 92 endnotes. Even more problematic is the fact that Schwarz repeats a number of myths about Kennedy - the majority of them long ago debunked by other researchers and writers. Example: As more than one recent scholar had deduced, Joseph Kennedy did not buy 40,000 copies of John Kennedy's Why England Slept in order to make the book a bestseller. Other small errors compound to make Schwarz's tome annoying for any reader familiar with the Kennedy saga - and there are many. For instance: Jo e did not cooperate, as Schwarz implies he did, in arranging for Jack to get posted to the South Pacific theater during WWII. Quite the contrary. Jack (as has been documented in several recent books) had to go around his father's back and over his head to get the assignment he craved. In sum, readers interested in JPK would do better to consult Ronald Kessler's The Sins of the Father, granddaughter Amanda Smith's Hostage to Fortune or Michael Beschloss's excellent Kennedy and Roosevelt. Photos. (Sept. 12) (Publishers Weekly, July 7, 2003)

"...In this ground-breaking work, Schwarz gives readers a gripping account..." (Good Book Guide, November 2003)

"...well researched..." (Irish Independent, 31 January 2004)

“…a tale of ambition, greed, triumph and tragedy.” (Accounting Technician, 25 March 2004)

Publishers Weekly
Publicity for this bio says that Schwarz (The Peter Lawford Story; Rose Kennedy and Her Family) "reveals for the first time the true story of this larger-than-life patriarch." One wonders how this can be the case, as Schwarz appears to base his book heavily on very loosely referenced secondary sources (he mentions interviews with "invisible" Kennedy staff members, but this is vague). The star witness Schwarz breathlessly announces in his intro-Barbara Gibson, onetime personal secretary to Rose Kennedy-is hardly referenced at all, but then neither is anyone else. Schwarz's 22 chapters have a total of only 92 endnotes. Even more problematic is the fact that Schwarz repeats a number of myths about Kennedy-the majority of them long ago debunked by other researchers and writers. Example: As more than one recent scholar has deduced, Joseph Kennedy did not buy 40,000 copies of John Kennedy's Why England Slept in order to make the book a bestseller. Other small errors compound to make Schwarz's tome annoying for any reader familiar with the Kennedy saga-and there are many. For instance: Joe did not cooperate, as Schwarz implies he did, in arranging for Jack to get posted to the South Pacific theater during WWII. Quite the contrary. Jack (as has been documented in several recent books) had to go around his father's back and over his head to get the assignment he craved. In sum, readers interested in JPK would do better to consult Ronald Kessler's The Sins of the Father, granddaughter Amanda Smith's Hostage to Fortune or Michael Beschloss's excellent Kennedy and Roosevelt. Photos. (Sept. 12) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471176817
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.49 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Ted Schwarz has written and coauthored more than 100 books. Among his bestselling titles are The Peter Lawford Story, The Kennedys: The Third Generation, and Rose Kennedy and Her Family.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

1. Mr. Ambassador.

2. Coming to America.

3. The Barkeep.

4. The Barkeep's Boy and the Politician's Daughter.

5. Scandal and Marriage.

6. The Adventure Begins.

7. Adjusting to Peacetime.

8. Hollywood Beckons.

9. Going Hollywood.

10. Seduced and Betrayed.

11. After Hollywood.

12. The Outsider Comes In.

13. The Consultant.

14. Of Family and Ambition.

15. "The Ambassador".

16. The War Years.

17. Adrift.

18. The Race for the Senate.

19. Joe and Jacqueline.

20: The Run for President.

Chapter 21. The View from the Top Is Always Down.

Chapter 22. And Then There Was....

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2006

    Nothing to say

    When JFK died, Jacqueline Kennedy made the comment that historians are 'bitter old men.' I think this probably sums up what kind of man Schwarz is. This was a horrible book, not because of its contents, but its labored writing style. Schwarz was plain distracting in many stories than had nothing to do with Joe Kennedy or were just ruses for more indictments for him. Several proposterous claims were made in this book. One included the idea that Jack was intellectually not capable. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He was a speed reader like none other and he certainly was a hero in World War II. I am not disputing the fact Joe Kennedy was ruthless. There is no doubt about that. Even the most ardent supporters of the Kennedys would doubt that. He was a bad man that did breathtakingly cutthroat machinations even to his most loyal friends.

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