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The Boston Globe


book review

‘The Patriarch’ by David Nasaw

David Nasaw’s “The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy” is the sort of biography that begs to be called “magisterial.”

This 868-page tome traces in meticulous detail Kennedy’s business dealings and his troubled ambassadorship to Britain from 1938-40. It documents how his love for his children, as well as his fortune, helped fuel their political rise, and how deeply he was affected by the untimely deaths of his second-oldest daughter, Kathleen, and three of his four sons by accident, war, and assassination.

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