Faculty Book: David Nasaw
The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
(Penguin Press HC, 2012)
Joseph Patrick Kennedy was the patriarch of America’s greatest political dynasty. The father of President John F. Kennedy and senators Robert and Edward Kennedy, “Joe” Kennedy was trained as a banker, but also became a Hollywood mogul, a stock exchange savant, a shipyard manager, the founding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and ambassador to London during the Battle of Britain. Yet he has remained shrouded in rumor and prejudice for decades. Drawing on never-before-published material from archives on three continents, Nasaw unearths a man far more complicated than the popular portrait. Though far from a saint, Joseph Kennedy in many ways exemplifies the best in American political, economic, and social life. His rags-to-riches story is one of exclusion and quiet discrimination overcome by entrepreneurship, ingenuity, and unshakable endurance. David Nasaw (Dist. Prof., GC, History) holds the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Chair in American History at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: NOV 12, 2012