The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years

The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years

by Edward Klein

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312312930
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/17/2004
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 302,006
Product dimensions: 6.16(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Edward Klein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers All Too Human: The Love Story of Jack and Jackie Kennedy and Just Jackie: Her Private Years. He covered John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign, served as a foreign correspondent in Asia, and was foreign editor of Newsweek. During his eleven years as editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine, it won the first Pulitzer Prize in its history. His articles have appeared in New York, Manhattan, inc., Vanity Fair, and Parade, for which he also writes "Walter Scott's Personality Parade." He is the author of the novel The Parachutists. He lives in New York City and Bridgehampton, Long Island.

Read an Excerpt



The Kennedy Curse



Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years



By Klein, Edward


St. Martin's Griffin



Copyright © 2004

Klein, Edward

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0312312938



This book is a detective story.

It is an investigation of one of the great mysteries of our time-the Kennedy Curse. It explores the underlying pattern that governs the curse and examines the many influences-historical, psychological, and genetic-that have shaped the Kennedys' character and led to their self-defeating behavior.

The stories in this book illustrate how the Kennedy Curse began in the common Irish immigrant experience of poverty and humiliation, and developed into an obsessive lust for power and dominance over others at the expense of all ethical behavior....

The people in this book were, for the most part, on a fatal collision course with reality. They felt immune to mortal laws and somehow divinely protected from the inevitable consequences of their deeds and misdeeds. In their hunger for unlimited power, they saw themselves as superior beings who resided above the common herd. They felt special-omnipotent and worthy of being worshiped....

Our inclination to idolize the Kennedys has obscured their human attributes. And so, finally, this book is an attempt to demystify the Kennedys by telling the story of how the descendants of Patrick Kennedy, a poor Irish immigrant who came to the shores of the New World in 1849, pulled, tore, scratched, scraped, clutched, and clawedtheir way to the top of American society-and, in the process, made the fatal mistake of thinking of themselves as divine.

--From The Kennedy Curse

Continues...




Excerpted from The Kennedy Curse
by Klein, Edward
Copyright © 2004 by Klein, Edward.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America's First Family for 150 Years 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
marcylinda More than 1 year ago
The Kennedy Family has had a BIG IMPACT on Life in the USA. They've contributed in the Political field and have demonstrated how a family CAN SEEM TO BE CURSED.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If we had kings and queens like they do in Britian the Kennedy's would of been the dynasty to be rulers. Even back then their was a lot of things that happen. A very good book I enjoyed it very much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Journalist and friend to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Edward Klein uses his 'insider' knowledge of Kennedy family events and dynamics as well as top-notch research to document the way tragedy has dogged the clan for the past century and half. He structures his book as a series of extended essays, choosing an individual family member as each essay's focus. What he does not do is document any supernatural 'curse' such as the book's title might suggest. Instead, he demonstrates - as he apparently set out to do - that any curse affecting these people's lives is of their own and their parents' making. I personally found the secondhand psychoanalyzing of people who didn't voluntarily participate in this project rather - what word do I want? It made me uncomfortable, at the very least. It also made me question the validity of conclusions based on that sort of analysis, because I have to wonder about the ethics of mental health professionals willing to diagnose public figures from afar. However, those passages worked much better than the ones in which the author himself - who if he has mental health or social work credentials doesn't mention them - supplied the anaylsis. Had he let the facts speak for themselves, though, I suppose he wouldn't have produced a book-length work for publication. Not bad. But not great, either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a nightmare. If this story is true, if these tidbits of info are facts, HOLY COW. I found it a little hard to believe some of the rhetoric that the author conveyed. How could parents be so cold to their own children, not attending their funeral? It is amazing and almost unbelievable. The insinuations of a curse are almost medieval. Person who live their lives on the edge, always pushing the edge of the envelope and placing their selves in dangerous situations are more apt to have horrific accidents. This is not necessarily a cruse, more like a dangerous leasion¿..
polo9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although the title of this his book implies that there is some malevolent force acting on the affairs of the Kennedy's, which also implies that they can be absolved from any complicity for the misfortunes that befell them, the contents of the book make no such claim.Rather than a curse what the book strongly suggests is that the Kennedy's seem to have a propensity for "high risk behaviors" many of which are chronicled. It seems evident that their various misadventures strongly suggest, first, that they really do not understand the nature of risk, and secondly, that they have no sense of the nature of their behaviors and their impulsivity in approaching risk that seems to underlie them.Is "cluless" a more appropriate descriptor than say, hubris, or vainglory, or just plain stupidity? In reviewing John Jr's poor decision making and subsequent demise it would certainly seem so. Anyone who has any experience with flying can readily see that what he was attempting to do was virtually suicidal, especially so, with respect to his limited training, or lack of, and experience with, for him, a high performance aircraft.Putting political orientations aside, if that is possible, it would seem this family characteristic of hubris, or vainglory, or "undue and self destructive risk taking" or however you choose to characterize it, would automatically disqualify any of these people for the responsibilities of high level political offices they spent so much time seeking, and in some cases attaining. The issues associated with a dynamic, ever changing world require far more circumspecction and other leadership characteristics than the profiles presented here suggest that these people could ever provide.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and fascinating.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
As I wrote in my headline.....what goes around, comes around! This truly is the case with the Kennedy clan. Money talks, and has in more than a few occasions for this family.What is truly important in life cannot be bought...the Kennedy family has learned this the hard way!!!!! This is obvious.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was great, I looked forward to reading it, found it hard to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the book itself was written well but I was not impressed that much with it...I had a very hard time getting thru once I passed the first two chapters..then once I got to the point of chapters relating to the kennedy's that I was familiar with, then I was ok and the book kept my interest somewhat..seems there was alot of HIPE about the book and I think that it was not all that it was cracked up to be..
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether or not you're a Kennedy family fan, this book will fascinate you. The Kennedy icon that crashed hardest for me was Rose. Whoa! Klein takes twisted to a new height. And best of all, it was a quick, 4-6 hour read. As someone born in the mid-50's, JFK was the 'first' president I have any memory of. Mainly the day our elementary school principal interrupted our class, tears in her eyes, and announced that the President had been shot. That was like the Time magazine cover that asked, 'Is God Dead?' It couldn't be. JFK's shenanigans, as this book claims, will knock the wind out of many.... Enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be an insightful examination of the various Kennedy tragedies, but instead found an overblown retelling of the various Kennedy gossip. I still have not decided what disturbed me most about this book; is it that the author basically blames the Kennedy's deaths on their ambition to better their place in society (is this such a crime?), is it that the author betrayed his friendship with Jackie for his book, or is it that he lumps William Smith's rape charge and Michael's affair with the babysitter in as a Kennedy tragedy alongside the deaths of Joe, John, and Bobby. The latter are tragedies, the former are crimes!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'd never read before that Rose didn't attend her daughter Katherine's funeral because she died with her lover. How cold could a mother be - the Kennedy's were a very dysfunctional family!! I think they were just rich, white trash!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's an easy read and never dull. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title sounds appealing. Anyone who is well versed in american history would find this book rather trivial and to say the least boring. It contains fragments of information on Kennedy victims. It is information that we are all familiar with. Its no wonder there is no literary endorsments on the back of this book. Its basically for novice history buffs. I was really disappointed in the way the author presents the stories of each family member, He leaves out a lot of essential information and facts on each of the family members. In addition he portrays himself as some sort of Kennedy expert, and gives too much of his own personal opinons. Do your self a favor, save the money and time and by something else.