Download Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter Audiobook

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter Audiobook, by Kate Clifford Larson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kate Clifford Larson Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9781504642729
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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They were the most prominent American family of the twentieth century. The daughter they secreted away made all the difference.

Joe and Rose Kennedy’s strikingly beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, was presented as a debutante to the queen of England, and traveled the world with her high-spirited sisters. And yet, Rosemary was intellectually disabled—a secret fiercely guarded by her powerful and glamorous family.

Major new sources—Rose Kennedy’s diaries and correspondence, school and doctors’ letters, and exclusive family interviews—bring Rosemary to life as a girl adored but left far behind by her competitive siblings. Kate Larson reveals both the sensitive care Rose and Joe gave to Rosemary and then, as the family’s standing reached an apex, the often desperate and duplicitous arrangements the Kennedys made to keep her away from home as she became increasingly intractable in her early twenties. Finally, Larson illuminates Joe’s decision to have Rosemary lobotomized at age twenty-three and the family’s complicity in keeping the secret.

Rosemary delivers a profoundly moving coda: JFK visited Rosemary for the first time while campaigning in the Midwest; she had been living isolated in a Wisconsin institution for nearly twenty years. Only then did the siblings understand what had happened to Rosemary and bring her home for loving family visits. It was a reckoning that inspired them to direct attention to the plight of the disabled, transforming the lives of millions.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The forgotten Kennedy is forgotten no longer…A book about the Kennedys that has something new to say.”

    Laurence Leamer, New York Times bestselling author

  • “It is Rosemary herself who shines from the pages of this profoundly revealing family story.”

    Marya Hornbacher, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Heartbreaking.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Compelling psychological, socia,l and political insight.”

    More magazine

  • “Larson deploys excerpts in heart-rending fashion, showing a sweet, insecure girl who was desperate to please…She has produced a valuable account of mental health tragedy and an influential family’s belated efforts to make amends.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A heartbreaking book that makes clear the pain and passion behind the Kennedy family’s efforts on behalf of the disabled.”

  • “Riveting…fascinating…compelling.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “Narrator Bernadette Dunne delivers the author’s examination of a privileged life gone horribly wrong…Compassion for Rosemary’s strength to survive and her inspiring effect on her brothers and sisters is evident in Dunne’s performance. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “A well-researched biography.”


  • “Engrossing…This expertly researched work offers a candid examination of a once-forgotten member of one of America’s most famous families.”

    Library Journal

  • “Larson’s well-researched and fascinating history includes Kennedy anecdotes as well as major developments in American life…Heartbreaking and illuminating.”


  • “The author presents a well-rounded portrait of Rosemary before the lobotomy, a beautiful young woman full of spunk and love, and the destruction of that vibrant person as a result of the operation…A well-researched, entertaining, and illuminating biography.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for October 2015
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A BookPage Best Book of 2015
  • A People Magazine Best Book of 2015
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bur | 3/2/2017

    " It seems the only thing that I had heard about Rosemary was that she was "retarded" and "an embarrassment" she was hidden away. A great work that reveals so much about the person who lived through her challenges. It is sad, but there is some joy too as she continued trying. Another tragedy of the oversell of lobotomies as being a panacea for all things mental. I can't imagine the heartbreak of her father after he pushed through on this decision, only to find out it left her in a worse situation. It was nice to discover that Joseph continued to provide and visit with her. The stories that I'd always heard related how she was shut away and abandoned because she wasn't upholding the Kennedy image. I would highly recommend this book as educational about other things than only the Kennedys and as a fine performance. "

About the Author

Kate Clifford Larson is the author of the critically acclaimed biographies Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero and The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln. She has been a consultant and interpretive specialist for numerous museum and public history initiatives, focusing on the lives and contributions of women in the making of our national identity.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway.