- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Ships from: Amsterdam, MO
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from: Chatham, NJ
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Posted November 16, 2005
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2002
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 29, 2002
For starters, I never give anything a 5-star rating, thus the 4. A 5-star rating should be reserved, I think, for drop-dead classics of nonfiction, such as GIDEON'S TRUMPET. That being said, I think this book is great. If you will allow me just one cliche: I couldn't put it down. I like the author's writing style: the way he drapes history around the action of the characters. The malevolent Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. fairly reaches out of the pages and gets you in a chokehold. He is impossible to like. On the other hand, with regard to Jack, the author paints a vivid portrait of a complex young man with an incisive analytical mind and a casually fatalistic approach to life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 26, 2002
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.