As Rose had said so many years ago, the Kennedys were like a nation unto themselves, with their own private language and customs. They invited friends into their lives, but there was always a distance between themselves and others.
- from The Kennedy Women
Now, for the first time, bestselling author, journalist, and social historian Laurence Leamer bridges that distance in what is unquestionably the most warmly empathetic and intimate study of the Kennedys to date.
Monumental in scope and extraordinary in sensitivity, The Kennedy Women chronicles five matrilineal generations in our nation's premier political dynasty. Not merely distinguished cultural history, it is a story of epic sweep, brimming with triumph and tragedy, courage and compliance, self - sacrifice and self - dillusion.
Moving from steerage on an immigrant vessel to the slums of Boston, from the Court of St. James to the White House and beyond, The Kennedy Women paints startling, in depth portraits of the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who stood beside some of the most dynamic men of the twentieth century through occasions of great opulence and heartbreak, victory and scandal. Among its revelations:
  • How Rose's marriage almost ended on her wedding day
  • The poignantly detailed life stories of mentally challenged Rosemary and the glorious, lost Kathleen
  • Jackie's near death in the weeks before the inauguration
  • Eunice's struggle, despite chronic illness, to build the Special Olympics
  • A long-guarded account of Rose's response to Chappaquiddick
  • Jean Kennedy Smith's and the family's private reactions to the William Kennedy Smith rape charges
  • Jackie's gallant battle to live and die with dignity and privacy
  • The unique challenges and pressures confronting future Kennedy matriachs Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Rory Kennedy

Here, finally, is the women's story; even those who feel they know all there is to know about the Kennedys will discover how much more there is to the story. For five years, Laurence Leamer researched this book, receiving unprecedented cooperation from family members, interviewing scores of relatives and close associates, gaining access to hundreds of personal documents. Included are thirty-two pages of rare and fascinating family photographs.

The Kennedy Women combines exhaustive and superb scholarship with a gripping narrative that will alter forever our perception of America's royal family.

Laurence Leamer has authored seven other books, including the bestselling King of the Night: The life of Johnny Carson, As Time Goes By: The Life of Ingrid Bergman, and Make Believe: The Story of Nancy and Ronald Reagan. He has written for Harper's, Playboy, People, New York, The Washingtonian, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. He divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Palm Beach, Florida.

Copyright, 1994 by Laurence Leamer

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