The Fires of Sunset: A Life of Ted Kennedy

John Aloysius Farrell


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    U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, overcoming the tragedies of his life, became a consequential figure in the history of politics and government, the Democratic Party, and social justice in America. In his 46-year career in the Senate, he compiled a record of accomplishment that included historic initiatives on race and civil rights, health care and medical research, immigration, and international relations in the Cold War and after. Defying the growing trend of political polarization in the United States, Kennedy negotiated and cut deals with conservatives like Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, John McCain and Robert Dole, and liberals like Joseph Biden and Barack Obama. He won fame for carrying on the fallen standard of his murdered brothers, John and Robert. Yet his turbulent family life and lifestyle left Kennedy vulnerable to criticism and he became one of the country's most-readily-caricatured political leaders - portrayed glowingly by the Left as "the lion of the Senate," while at the same time vilified from the Right as "Teddy Bare," the rake whose reckless driving cost a young secretary her life on Chappaquiddick island in 1969. In my portrayal of Kennedy, I advance the thesis that the rigorous application of the tools, aims and standards of biography - the examination of all sides and aspects of a leader's life - can be a curative in an era of hyper-polarization, when journalism, history and truth are under fire.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Renders, Johannes, Supervisor
    • Bosscher, Doeko, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning15-sep.-2022
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2022

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