What are some of the best Kennedy documents/films/biographies? I'd really love to learn more about the clan 😊
Hi there ! Sorry for my (very) late reply, I’m the worst - I see a message and then I forget all about it :(
Okay so here’s a list of my favorite stuff (**will update) :
- The Joan Kennedy Story : Living with the Kennedys, by Marcia Chellis (1985) : Marcia was Joan’s personal assistant for 2-3 years, starting in 1979. They went through the 1980 presidential campaign together. I know Joan felt betrayed by the book saying : “I tried to talk her out of it three years ago when she told me the notes she took on the 1980 campaign would be used in a book. I told her I felt so betrayed. I think it’s a real breach of confidentiality” - but I gotta say, it’s really great if you want to feel like an insider. It’s a must-read, in my opinion. But I don’t agree with how she did all of this - Joan was her friend and she trusted her but she ended up betraying her for money… yeah.
- Jackie, Ethel, Joan : The Women of Camelot, by J. Randy Taraborrelli (2000) : “Three women who married into America’s royal family and became forever linked in legend. Set against the panorama of explosive American history, this unique story offers a rarely-seen look at the relationship shared among the three women – during the Camelot years and beyond. Whether dealing with their husbands’ blatant infidelities, stumping for their many political campaigns, touring the world to promote their family’s legacy, raising their children, or confronting death, the Kennedy wives did it all with grace, style and dignity”
- The Kennedy Women : The Saga of an American Family, by Laurence Leamer (1994). 800-page book with rather tiny writing, but it goes back to the Kennedy’s ancestors and talks about every single Kennedy woman.
- After Camelot : A Personal History of the Kennedy Family – 1968 to the Present, by J. Randy Taraborrelli (2012) : Taraborrelli’s books tend to be a bit on the gossipy side, but I kinda like his style lol plus he does A LOT of research for his books (the source notes are always like, 40 pages long). The book is divided into the following parts : The lengthy an detailed tome is divided into the following parts: Jackie, Eunice, Sarge, Ted, Ethel, Jackie/Ari/The Lawfords, Sargent Tries Again, The Third Generation In Trouble, Poor Ari, Rosemary and Rose, Shriver for President, Ted’s 1980 campaign, David’s Story, Kennedy Upheaval, Caroline/John/Maurice, William Kennedy Smith and the Palm Beach Scandal, Kennedy Wives Old and New, Jackie: Her Final Years, John and Carolyn, Michael’s Story, A Peaceful Time, Camelot Loses its Prince, Transitions, and Looking Ahead.
- Peter Lawford : The Man Who Kept the secrets, by James Spada (1991). (See the review that I made about a week ago).
- Joan : The Reluctant Kennedy, by Lester David (1974) : It’s really interesting because he interviewed her a lot for it and you can learn about her childhood, her girlhood, etc. It’s really the only book that is strictly dedicated to her (well Marcia Chellis’ book kinda is too, but it’s more like a tell all, not a biography and it only talks about Joan’s life from 1979 to 1983). The only thing is that since the book was published in the 70s, it doesn’t cover the rest of Joan’s life.
- The Other Mrs. Kennedy : Ethel Skakel Kennedy - An American Drama of Power, Privilege, and Politics, by Jerry Oppenheimer (1994). I didn’t think I’d be into this book at first, since I’ve never been particularly interested in Ethel. But it really is a page turner.
- The Last Brother, by Joe McGinnis (1993). Excellent book about Ted. I really enjoyed the fact that there is no ass kissing at all (compared to the ‘Last Lion’, published by the Boston Globe). It really reveals the dysfunctionality of the family. I also like how he analyzes Ted, he’s very interesting, psychologically-speaking, cause he was trapped from the beginning: someone (…Joe Kennedy) chose a life path for him and that was it. The Washington Post trashed the book but don’t listen to them lol
- The Kennedy Curse, by Edward Klein. (2003)
- The Kennedys (2011). Watch here : http://www.watchfree.to/watch-27654b-The-Kennedys-tv-show-online-free-putlocker.html#close-modal - I’m currently rewatching it actually. It’s 8 episodes and it starts with JFK’s election and ends with JFK’s assassination. Greg Kinnear is excellent as JFK, and so is Barry Pepper as Bobby. As for Katie Holmes, sometimes she’s good and sometimes it’s a bit cringy (like when she tries to imitate Jackie’s soft, breathy voice). The new series, The Kennedys : After Camelot (which covers from 1964 to the 1990s I believe), based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book, will start in April on Reelz
-The JFK collection– 8 mini movies by the History channel (2013). Disc One contains three films. “JFK: A Personal Story Part 1”, JFK: A Personal Story Part 2 and “Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis”. Disc Two contains four films “John F. Kennedy, Jr.: The Death of an American Prince”, “Joseph Kennedy, Sr.: Father of an American Dynasty”,“Robert F. Kennedy: His Many Sides” and “Ted Kennedy: Tragedy, Scandal, and Redemption” is the story of the life of the youngest Kennedy son, his scandals, and his life in politics. Disc Three contains the last film of the series, “JFK: Three Shots that Changed America.” **I’m afraid you’ll have to buy it, but I got it for pretty cheap on Ebay
- The Lost Kennedy Home Movies (2011).