An Unfinished Life describes the birth of the Kennedy dynasty, the complexity of Jack’s early years, and the mixture of adulation and resentment that tangled his relationships with his mother, Rose, and his father, Joseph. Forced into the shadow of his older brother, Joe, Jack struggled to find a place for himself until World War II, when he became a national hero and launched his career. For the first time, Dallek reveals the full story of Kennedy’s wartime actions—and the true details of how Joe was killed, an event that opened the door to Jack’s ascendancy. Here is the gripping story of Jack’s transformation from an awkward speaker into a brilliant politician with irresistible charm.
An Unfinished Life also reveals that Kennedy was far sicker than we ever knew. While laboring to present an image of robust good health, Kennedy was secretly in and out of hospitals throughout his life, so ill that he was administered last rites on several different occasions. Here is a vivid portrait of a man who, because he knew how close he was to death, lived as much as he could—sometimes hurting others in the process.
Never shying away from Kennedy’s weaknesses, Dallek also brilliantly explores his strengths. The result is a portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero.
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