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Extended Audio Sample True Compass: A Memoir, by Edward M. Kennedy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,812 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward M. Kennedy Narrator: John Bedford Lloyd Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Edward M. Kennedy is widely regarded as one of the great Senators in the nation's history. He is also the patriarch of America's most heralded family. In this landmark autobiography, five years in the making, Senator Kennedy speaks with unprecedented candor about his extraordinary life.

The youngest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, he came of age among siblings from whom much was expected. As a young man, he played a key role in the presidential campaign of his brother, John F. Kennedy. In 1962, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he learned how to become an effective legislator.

His life has been marked by tragedy and perseverance, a love for family and an abiding faith. He writes movingly of his brothers and their influence on him; his years of struggle in the wake of their deaths; his marriage to the woman who changed his life, Victoria Reggie Kennedy; his role in the major events of our time (from the civil rights movement to the election of Barack Obama); and how his recent diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor has given even greater urgency to his long crusade for improved health care for all Americans.

Written with warmth, wit, and grace, True Compass is Edward M. Kennedy's inspiring legacy to readers and to history. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Kennedy’s conversational gifts as a storyteller and his sense of humor—so often remarked on by colleagues and friends—shine through here, as does his old-school sense of public service and his hard-won knowledge, in his son Teddy Jr.’s words, that ‘even our most profound losses are survivable.’”  

    New York Times 

  • In bringing Kennedy's sweeping memoir to life, John Bedford Lloyd conveys an intimacy and sincerity that allows for reverence without idolatry...Bonus features include a video interview, largely a summary of the book's contents, though still priceless from the standpoint of historical posterity. The PDF of photographs offers a rather impressive visual resource spanning the time period of Kennedy's narrative. Publishers Weekly
  • “Based on fifty years of notes and journal entries, this monumentally moving memoir illuminates nearly every aspect of the late senator's personal and public life and times. With incomparable wit and candor, Kennedy offers up his perspective on Senate colleagues, Presidents past, and most of all himself, revealing the tarnish along with the triumphs.” 


  • “Touchingly candid, big-hearted and altogether super.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “This riveting autobiography, crammed with joyous and tumultuous events that characterize Kennedy family life, is extensively documented, analyzed, and celebrated by the late senator, who also examines the many dramatic exigencies that wrought and reshaped his familial roles.” 


  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cara Best | 2/1/2014

    " Harder to read than it was to live through. For me Bobby's murder was the end of my interest in politics as a career choice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Carolyn Dellerba | 1/29/2014

    " This was a quick read and the thing I appreciated about it was the political climate characterized during the times of the many presidents that Edward served under in the Congress. Events that shaped his political convictions and views were enlightening and the history of important political causes and accomplishments by our country had some cause effect light shed upon them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sue | 1/17/2014

    " Interesting autobiograpy. I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Elizabeth Quinn | 1/10/2014

    " This is not a book I would have picked for myself. Rather it was a Christmas gift from my son, and I moved it to the top of my reading pile because he kept asking how I liked it. Quite a lot, actually. My son was born in Hyannis, a Kennedy stomping ground, so I've always had an interest in the family from that and because I was a reporter in Massachusetts way back when. There's no dish in this memoir: Kennedy explains that the best way to handle rumor, innuendo and scandal is to refuse to comment. A brilliant strategy that more people should use! But there are plenty of other insights that were new to me. For example, why did Joseph P. Kennedy move his young family to New York? Because Boston was no place to raise Irish-American children. Why did health care become Senator Kennedy's most important issue? Because of what he learned during the months he was hospitalized while recovering from a broken back. I seldom read memoirs, but I'm glad I made an exception for this one. "

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