The House of Kennedy
The Kennedys have always been a family of charismatic adventurers, raised to take risks and excel, living by the dual family mottos: “To whom much is given, much is expected” and “Win at all costs.” And they do–but at a price.Across decades and generations, the Kennedys have occupied a unique place in the American imagination: charmed, cursed, at once familiar and unknowable. The House of Kennedy is a revealing, fascinating account of America’s most storied family, as told by America’s most trusted storyteller.

The House of Kennedy Details

TitleThe House of Kennedy
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 13th, 2020
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
ISBN-139780316454483
Rating
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography

The House of Kennedy Review

  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    The story of the Kennedy dynasty that reads like a novel. Enjoyable, interesting, and very James Patterson.
  • Naomi
    January 1, 1970
    Oh lookie! James Patterson has found a new pool of ghostwriters! So, how many James Patterson books will be released this year?!?!
  • David Medders
    January 1, 1970
    This non-fiction book co-written with Cynthia Fagen flows smoothly through several generations and dozens of the Kennedy dynasty. For those of us who have lived through much of this tragic Kennedy history, many memories are stirred about the seemingly unending series of assassinations, fatal plane accidents, alcohol abuse and marital infidelities. I'm grateful for the balanced handling of so many historical moments and the modest unraveling of complex personal struggles expressed in both This non-fiction book co-written with Cynthia Fagen flows smoothly through several generations and dozens of the Kennedy dynasty. For those of us who have lived through much of this tragic Kennedy history, many memories are stirred about the seemingly unending series of assassinations, fatal plane accidents, alcohol abuse and marital infidelities. I'm grateful for the balanced handling of so many historical moments and the modest unraveling of complex personal struggles expressed in both significant virtue and appalling evil, all unfolding inside the pressure cooker environment of the Kennedy obsession with performance, to win at any cost. Readers will admire the Camelot family's rarely matched contribution to America and the indelible imprint of political service they rendered. The reader's heart must also be grieved by the most unfortunate chain of calamities that gave birth to the idea of a Kennedy curse and such self destructive behavior that brought such shame and brokenness.Not a first rate biography of the Kennedy House, but an informative survey of the family's ill-fated history.
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  • SLeigh
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed this Immensely My only wish is that it was even longer. This was a fantastic account of the trials and tribulations of the Kennedy Family. For far too long, so much has been a myth. The gilding is off the cage.
  • Desmond Taro
    January 1, 1970
    I love to read this book
  • Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir
    January 1, 1970
    Bestselling author James Patterson and former New York Post reporter and TV producer Cynthia Fagen have created a lively record of the lives and deaths of some of the better known members of the Kennedy clan.Their new examination of a family that many think of as cursed was released just days after two more Kennedys met tragic ends, as Bobbys granddaughter and great-grandson drowned in a boating accident. The founding father of these American legends was the entrepreneurially determined Joe Bestselling author James Patterson and former New York Post reporter and TV producer Cynthia Fagen have created a lively record of the lives and deaths of some of the better known members of the Kennedy clan.Their new examination of a family that many think of as cursed was released just days after two more Kennedys met tragic ends, as Bobby’s granddaughter and great-grandson drowned in a boating accident. The founding father of these American legends was the entrepreneurially determined Joe Kennedy, himself the son of poor Irish immigrants, a heritage he never forgot and inculcated into the strict upbringing of his children. As Eunice Kennedy would say, “The big thing we learned from Daddy was win.” Though Joe was not interested in the war brewing in Europe and had disdain for the Jews suffering there, his eldest son, Joe Jr., joined the Navy in World War II and was killed in a plane crash while on duty.Doubtless the best-known Kennedy, Jack was killed by an assassin’s bullet, an incident that was recorded on live television in 1963. Bobby took on the mantle of political fame and then himself was slain, like Jack, by an obscure little man with murky motives. Ted, who died of natural causes, had a life marred by scandal, including the mysterious abandonment of a female companion who drowned when he drove them off a bridge after a wild party while intoxicated.Joe was ashamed of his daughter, Rosemary, a beautiful young woman who had intellectual disabilities, which were little understood at the time. At his insistence, she was lobotomized; the hope was that this would provide a cure, but instead it rendered her mute and helpless for the rest of her life. Kathleen, known as Kick, also succumbed to a plane crash, and yet another such tragedy occurred when Jack’s son, John Jr. --- probably under the influence of medication --- crashed a private plane carrying his wife and her sister. All three were lost.Constructed from a plethora of sources, THE HOUSE OF KENNEDY is episodic, offering many personal vignettes to underscore the narrative’s basic premise: this legendary family, who felt the burden of their wealth and fame and tried to handle it responsibly, also felt the shadow of misfortune and conflicted self-esteem. Most readers already will have formed a picture of the Kennedys, and this book may enhance that perception or alter it. The ethos of the clan involved public service contrasted with private improprieties, with an overarching theme: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Perhaps that edict proved too onerous to some of the Kennedys, making them believe that they were born to tempt fate and overcome all odds. Sadly, their attempts have often proved futile, and fatal, as Patterson and Fagen remind us.Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
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  • Mahoghani 23
    January 1, 1970
    An immigrant family that thrives with the utmost determination to become truly relevant in the United States. There are so many books written about this talented & dedicated family that you will need to just read & delve into the histrionics of the Kennedy's. There were a lot of things that I didn't know & so I stopped and researched the information to obtain a clear understanding about the autobiography. This book isn't about the most famous Kennedy's. It's the whole family; from An immigrant family that thrives with the utmost determination to become truly relevant in the United States. There are so many books written about this talented & dedicated family that you will need to just read & delve into the histrionics of the Kennedy's. There were a lot of things that I didn't know & so I stopped and researched the information to obtain a clear understanding about the autobiography. This book isn't about the most famous Kennedy's. It's the whole family; from the grandparents unto the present time. J. P. took each member of the Kennedy family, from arrival to the United States from Ireland to the death of JFK Jr., and provided an indepth look into the solidity of family values, rivalry, to never fail at anything, addictions, & family secrets, plots, political power....just to name some. Their cavalier regard towards life made their deaths so hard to bear. They never showed fear because it wasn't embedded in them. They pushed the resistance button more than necessary & the end result was worse than anyone expected. I don't believe there's a curse on the Kennedy family. I believe their free spirited decisions outweighed the structural balance to live their lives any other way than how they lived. This book took you through a timeline of this family, their issues, sibling rivalry, squirmishes with the law & their unhealthy addictions. Joe & Rose had nine children, 4 boys & 5 girls, & it seemed as if the females in this family were not pushed as hard as the boys to succeed but they were just as successful as their brothers. I learned a lot in this book & I'm not thinking about any conspiracy theories about this family. I just wanted to read about this family that came to America and by whatever means necessary, they succeeded to become a family whose legacy will never be forgotten.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    As Ethel Kennedy herself says, "Being a Kennedy isn't for the faint of heart." [p. 299]When I saw this book first mentioned I knew I was going to want to read it. I have a huge obsession with anything Kennedy related. It reads like your typical James Patterson book - with it's short chapters and quick pacing. It's definitely not a source that serious historians will ever use (or likely read...) but it's great for a quick read for a person with a passing interest in the Kennedy family. While I As Ethel Kennedy herself says, "Being a Kennedy isn't for the faint of heart." [p. 299]When I saw this book first mentioned I knew I was going to want to read it. I have a huge obsession with anything Kennedy related. It reads like your typical James Patterson book - with it's short chapters and quick pacing. It's definitely not a source that serious historians will ever use (or likely read...) but it's great for a quick read for a person with a passing interest in the Kennedy family. While I consider myself somewhat well-read in regards to the Kennedy family, there were things I did not know before reading this book. I was unfamiliar about most of Joe Sr. and Rose's backgrounds. And holy mackerel are there cousins galore - it was hard to keep track of which child belonged to which Kennedy sibling. But most of the information in this book is pretty well your standard stuff that everyone knows. Still I found it to be worth the read. Overall, a good read that I enjoyed.
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  • Lizzy
    January 1, 1970
    Delving into the good, the bad, and the many tragic events that encapsulate the Kennedy family history, this book kept me riveted from the beginning. Although it traced the lives of several high-profile historical figures, this one read like a fascinating family drama. Anyone who enjoys American history and/or politics would find something interesting within this book, which offered both new and previously reported information. The second half highlighted the significant number of tragedies that Delving into the good, the bad, and the many tragic events that encapsulate the Kennedy family history, this book kept me riveted from the beginning. Although it traced the lives of several high-profile historical figures, this one read like a fascinating family drama. Anyone who enjoys American history and/or politics would find something interesting within this book, which offered both new and previously reported information. The second half highlighted the significant number of tragedies that have plagued the Kennedy family, which certainly left me wondering how one family could possibly deal with so many deaths. Even though I already had some familiarity with many of the historical events dissected by the author, the storyteller quality of the writing made it difficult to put this one down from start to finish.
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  • Daniel Kukwa
    January 1, 1970
    There are a multitude of volumes published on the Kennedy family -- from highly detailed & exquisitely researched historical overviews to trashy tabloid crap. But if you're looking for a single, one-stop shop -- a single book to explain who and what these pseudo-American royals are -- then you have found it here. It's the breezy style of a successful novelist, turning his hand to non-fiction in a concise, straightforward manner that is both informative yet never bogged down in too much There are a multitude of volumes published on the Kennedy family -- from highly detailed & exquisitely researched historical overviews to trashy tabloid crap. But if you're looking for a single, one-stop shop -- a single book to explain who and what these pseudo-American royals are -- then you have found it here. It's the breezy style of a successful novelist, turning his hand to non-fiction in a concise, straightforward manner that is both informative yet never bogged down in too much detail. One thing is certain after you read this book: the Kennedy family is a family of duty, public service, dreams and ambition...and they're also a family of hubris, arrogance, pride, and alcoholism. This books is never, for one moment, boring.
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  • Melissa Dunlavey
    January 1, 1970
    Two stars was a gift and only because I really did not know a lot about the Kennedys other than the really big headlines. I read James Pattersons book on Aaron Hernandez and really enjoyed it so I was excited to read the one on the Kennedys. He could have done so much with all these tragedies and trauma as so much more can be written and speculated about, but that did not happen. Instead this book was a bunch of facts (from other authors/historians) and quotes from people. Time lines were all Two stars was a gift and only because I really did not know a lot about the Kennedys other than the really big headlines. I read James Patterson’s book on Aaron Hernandez and really enjoyed it so I was excited to read the one on the Kennedys. He could have done so much with all these tragedies and trauma as so much more can be written and speculated about, but that did not happen. Instead this book was a bunch of facts (from other authors/historians) and quotes from people. Time lines were all over the place and names dropped everywhere which made it difficult to follow. Instead of a nice narrative, it was a reference book and a poorly written one. I am highly disappointed by this big name author and his lack of creativity and writing.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Because of my age, I remember the history of the Kennedy family. I was in middle school when JFK was assassinated and in high school when Bobby was killed. Like many people, I cried and felt that both were the end of an era. This book stirred up all of those memories. I didn't have as much knowledge of the next two generations of the family so I found much of that information to be interesting and a bit like national enquirer in the way it was presented. Overall, this would be an interesting Because of my age, I remember the history of the Kennedy family. I was in middle school when JFK was assassinated and in high school when Bobby was killed. Like many people, I cried and felt that both were the end of an era. This book stirred up all of those memories. I didn't have as much knowledge of the next two generations of the family so I found much of that information to be interesting and a bit like national enquirer in the way it was presented. Overall, this would be an interesting book for someone who knew very little about the Kennedy family - if there is anyone like that. For me, it was a trip down memory lane with very little information. Much of this book read like fiction and in my opinion, James Patterson should stick to fiction where he excels.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    The Kennedy family story is filled with great glories and stupefying sadness and tragedy. Although the timing for publication seems curious, this book presents a thorough, well-balanced account of the many personalities, facts, dates and relationships which surround this popular public family. I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did as theres not much new material here; but it did an excellent job distilling copious amounts of information and not embellishing the follies, The Kennedy family story is filled with great glories and stupefying sadness and tragedy. Although the timing for publication seems curious, this book presents a thorough, well-balanced account of the many personalities, facts, dates and relationships which surround this popular public family. I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did as there’s not much new material here; but it did an excellent job distilling copious amounts of information and not embellishing the follies, accomplishments or tragedies.
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  • Carly Flis
    January 1, 1970
    I have been interested in the Kennedy's since we studied JFK's assassination in my high school history class, and am very intrigued by their family mysteries and secrets. I dove right into this book and didn't look back. This is not a flowery biography that continues to hide the Kennedy secrets, it is a biography that presents all of the facts. Most of the Kennedy's were dead before I was born, so I learned many things that weren't taught in school. It is a must read.
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  • Mark Bourdon
    January 1, 1970
    I was fascinated that James Patterson was writing a nonfiction book about the Kennedy family. Since I like to read about the Kennedy family I thought it would be worth a try. There were times when Patterson put in material that made no sense to me because it really didnt seem relevant. Some of the Chapters reiterated material that had been written about in previous Chapters. But overall I enjoyed reading the book. I was fascinated that James Patterson was writing a nonfiction book about the Kennedy family. Since I like to read about the Kennedy family I thought it would be worth a try. There were times when Patterson put in material that made no sense to me because it really didn’t seem relevant. Some of the Chapters reiterated material that had been written about in previous Chapters. But overall I enjoyed reading the book.
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  • Gail Marchant
    January 1, 1970
    JFK inspired generations & as a ten year old I was sad devastated because he was the hope we all wanted Since then I have read plenty on the Kennedys This book is the best I have read starting with the first Kennedy arriving from Ireland to AmericaThen all the Kennedys Things I did not know & things I thought I knew James Patterson is a fabulous author & this book must be amongst his best
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  • Racheal Kalisz
    January 1, 1970
    Instead of "The House of Kennedy" this should have been called the Dirt of Kennedy. As an American, born after JFK was shot, The Kennedy's were the closest thing to Royalty the United States had. This book is nothing but an attempt to take down the romanticism that I among many, associate with this poor family. Shame on James Patterson.
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  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Not much I haven't heard before about this tragic family, but it was interesting to read it all put together and in time order. I appreciated the short chapter to make it easy to read in small bites.
  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Kennedy legacyWhile I was born in 1970, I still grew up knowing of this famous family. I enjoyed this book and seeing the pictures. It gave me more insight into the family. Some things I had heard others were new. If you loved the Kennedy's than you really should get this book.
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  • Janie A. Hutchison
    January 1, 1970
    I have read many biographies about the Kennedy family. Patterson has managed to sweep us into his narrative with quotes and remembrances by family and friends I've never read, nor heard. It places the reader in an intimate setting. A marvelous book!
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I wonder why this book was written now. What was the motivation? Most of this information has been known for some time. I think other things should be fact checked: too many opinions and innuendos floating around.
  • Helen Sharise
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhh the Kennedy Family. My absolute favorite besides the Obamas . Im the biggest fan of Jackie Kennedy because of bravery and fashion (duhh) but this was interesting read on The Kennedy Family ! I liked it a lot so much that it only took a couple of days to finish. Ahhh the Kennedy Family. My absolute favorite besides the Obama’s . I’m the biggest fan of Jackie Kennedy because of bravery and fashion (duhh) but this was interesting read on The Kennedy Family ! I liked it a lot so much that it only took a couple of days to finish.
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  • Jill Crosby
    January 1, 1970
    A rehashing of almost all the tragedies to befall the Kennedy Family since its inception in 1912(?) or whenever. Well-organized, as character tragedies dovetailed onto each other, maintaining connectivity. A good starter book for someone unfamiliar with Kennedy Family history A rehashing of almost all the “tragedies” to befall the Kennedy Family since it’s inception in 1912(?) or whenever. Well-organized, as character tragedies dovetailed onto each other, maintaining connectivity. A good starter book for someone unfamiliar with Kennedy Family history
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  • Lindsey Redmon
    January 1, 1970
    Very good read! I learned a lot about the Kennedy family I never knew about. Patterson did a great job to keep me engaged and wanting to know more!
  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    Very very well written story about a truly iconic family.
  • Kerry
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing. It is not James Patterson-ish, merely a walk through history.
  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this book just okay. It was very dry. The summary sounded so much better than what was actually written.
  • Juliette
    January 1, 1970
    Keeps one interested. There was never a dull moment with the Kennedys. An easy read I would recommend. Keeps one interested. There was never a dull moment with the Kennedy’s. An easy read I would recommend.
  • Claire Sellers
    January 1, 1970
    Well written words on the Kennedy dynasty, while I lived through half of it, there was much I was not aware of. Interesting read to say the least.
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Well written and seemed well researched. History that is written more like a novel, holds your interest. I wish more credit was given to the coauthor. (of this one & so many others)
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