Sep 27, 2020
The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga
Posted by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys is the sweeping history of two immigrant families, their rise to become potent political dynasties, and the marriage that brought the two together to found the most powerful family in America Drawing on unprecedented access to the family and its private papers, Pulitzer Prize winning and bestselling historian Doris Kearns Goodwin takes r The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys is the sweeping history of two immigrant families, their rise to become potent political dynasties, and the marriage that brought the two together to found the most powerful family in America Drawing on unprecedented access to the family and its private papers, Pulitzer Prize winning and bestselling historian Doris Kearns Goodwin takes readers from John Francis Honey Fitz Fitzgerald s baptism in 1863 through his reign as mayor of Boston, to the inauguration of his grandson as president ninety eight years later Each character emerges unforgettably the young, shrewdly political Rose Fitzgerald her powerful, manipulative husband, Joseph P Kennedy and the Golden Trio of Kennedy children Joe Jr Kathleen, and Jack whose promise was eclipsed by the family s legacy of tragedy Through the prism of two self made families, Goodwin reveals the ambitions and the hopes that form the fabric of the American nation.

  • Title: The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga
  • Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • ISBN: 9780743201759
  • Page: 133
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys An American Saga The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys is the sweeping history of two immigrant families their rise to become potent political dynasties and the marriage that brought the two together to found the most po

    Steve

    bestpresidentialbios 2017Doris Kearns Goodwin s The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys An American Saga was published in 1987 and remains one of the most widely read books on JFK and the Kennedy family Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize winning author and presidential historian who has written about Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft.This 943 page tome is not a traditional biography of John F Kennedy and covers no part of his presidency Instead, it is an engrossing, ar [...]


    Monica

    At 800 pages plus, not counting the than 100 pages of notes and bibliography, this book is not easy to hold, but it is hard to put down it s a great read Goodwin takes a wealth of material and infuses it with life and color, creating unforgettable portraits of people we thought we knew from history, from the press, from gossip The book covers three generations of the families, starting with Rose Kennedy s father, John Honey Fitz Fitzgerald and ending with the inauguration of John F Kennedy as P [...]


    Dottie

    I was 12 when John F Kennedy gained the Whitehouse I knew nothing of politics, but I fell in love with Jackie Kennedy s persona His assassination happened when I was 15, and like most other people, it left an imprint on my life I have heard many documentaries on JFK, some pro and some con I wanted to hear the truth from this book Doris always tells both sides I love Doris Kearns Goodwin s books I love the way she writes history She not only tells what is happening in the Kennedy and Fitzgerald s [...]


    Elizabeth Olsen

    I love this book I am actively reading it It is obviously about the Kennedy s and Fitzgeralds, and I did not think it would interest me at all but I might actually like Doris Kearns Goodwin that David McCullough


    Regina

    This book has been on the family room bookshelf for years I admit it was voyeuristic self indulgence that finally made me take it down and read it late this summer.The book is very long In three separate parts, it could have been published as three separate volumes The first section the rise of Honey Fitz is the best I found it to be informative and entertaining and I like Doris Kearn Goodwin s conversational style of prose The descriptions of old Boston and the political system of party bosses [...]


    Christine Ward

    It s been many years since I read this book over a decade, I think and either time has been kind to this monumental biography, or my perspective has changed with regard to this book and the families that are immortalized within its pages.Through exhaustive research, Goodwin narrates the tale of two families the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys from their respective beginnings in America to the inauguration of JFK and through it all, she manages to retain a highly effective storytelling tone to this [...]


    Elizabeth

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is a wonder historian, bringing the experiences of her subjects to life This book, written in 1987, describes the immigration experiences of the two Irish families who, in a short period of time, gave us an iconic President and a powerful political family The story itself is inspiring exceptional immigrants to use their wits to succeed in America I wonder if it were written now if the author would have been so easy on the protagonistsFitzerald and Joseph Kennedy Sr She doesn [...]


    Sarita

    I m pretty sure that the Pulitzer she got for this was a reflection of how brave and hardworking she had to be to get backstory on the Kennedys Fitzgeralds at the time when it was written There s no shock, now, in thinking of Jack Kennedy as connected to the vote fixers in Boston and Chicago, for instance Learning about the family s ethos and history is helpful to understanding their influence and role, but there was a lot of Mrs Kennedy must have felt and We can t help but wonder if he though [...]


    Clifford

    Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of my favorite authors so her style was a huge reason to like this book I enjoyed the background knowledge of this legendary American family The Fitzgerald information was fascinating as were the exploits of Joseph Kennedy.A long but enjoyable read recommended for Kennedy or History buffs.


    Kathy

    The book goes way back several generations and you realize the dynasty of the Kennedys JFK didn t just decide he wanted to be president one day, it was bred into him.


    Elizabeth

    This is the longest time I have taken to read a book Ever.


    Jon

    This is a positively gargantuan, in both scope and detail, work of history and the documentation of a legendary American family of Irish origin on both sides Beginning with the births and emergence of one generation, segueing into that of Joseph P Kennedy and his wife Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and ending with their children specifically, the inauguration of their son John as President of the United States It s a long book, but nearly always engrossing as it traces the life and times of these often [...]


    Mcgyver5

    Well, I learned a lot As an Irish Catholic from Massachusetts, I of course hold the Kennedys in some reverence but I was totally ignorant of their family history For example, I did not know that Kathleen existed or that Rosemary existed or that JFK s grandfather was mayor of Boston for years In reading, I was wrapped in the story enough that I actually I grieved when reading of Kathleen s premature death Doris Kearns Goodwin delved into a rich trove of family letters for this book and got great [...]


    Doug Dams

    This is a rather large book The author had access to many papers and documents from the two families and it shows The book traces the Fitzgeralds and Kennedys from the first Irish immigrants to the election of J F Kennedy The early parts of the book are interesting in they describe the immigrant experience for the Irish and the struggle to achieve some success The Fitzgeralds were farmers from Ireland and wanted to farm but stayed in Boston until they could save enough money to buy a farm It nev [...]


    Christina Dudley

    Another Kearns Goodwin book I thought I d be reading the rest of my life, but I was completely enthralled whenever I picked it up The author treats her subjects with thoughtfulness and compassion, even when they do questionable things, something I very much appreciate The history of 19th century Boston is fascinating, and when I was watching the Mariners play the Red Sox at Fenway Park, and they mentioned it being built on John Fitzgerald s watch, it was like all things becoming one, and a river [...]


    Sharon

    A riveting book by the consistently riveting Doris Kearns Goodwin, in which she traces the history of the Kennedy family from the moment of President JFK s maternal grandfather s immigration from Ireland to Boston As the family rises from poverty stricken tenements, to owning local businesses, to victory in local politics, to Hollywood, the court of Great Britain, and the presidency, the history of America unrolls at the same time in DKG s well researched and lively prose Each family member s ow [...]


    Susan

    This is a great book for individuals who really love details in history Goodwin was very thorough in her research It made their life and times truly almost visable But in doing so, sometimes it became difficult and tedious This book is not so much about Jack Kennedy It is about his progenitors It is the set up of the stage which made Jack Kennedy s presidential run a possibility It is about Joe and Rose Kennedy It is about John F Fitzgerald If you want to know how the Kennedys became millionaire [...]


    Mike

    Doris Kearns Goodwin pens the definitive book on the Kennedy family This book has unprecedented access to private letters and interviews with many family friends, this in an intimate portrait of the entire family from the grandparents of Joseph P Kennedy Sr and Rose Fitzgerald to the Presidency Kearns Goodwin obviously has connections to Democratic politicians her husband Richard, her close relationship with Lyndon Johnson , but she doesn t gloss over the failings and shortcomings of the various [...]


    Paulina

    Although I had not read any of Doris Kearns Goodwin s books before, I now want to read them all I began with this book because the Kennedy clan has always fascinated me yet I knew little about them I found this book informative and fascinating Most notably, Goodwin tries to make sense of history She reflects upon why people think and behave the way they do In addition to describing the overall experience of poor Irish immigrants at the end of the nineteenth century, she considers why the Catholi [...]


    Michelle

    I read this years ago and loved it If someone made a movie with this plot, no one would believe it These people really lived life on a grand scale, with Greek tragedy lurking in the background One of the best parts is the story and relationships between the three oldest kids Joe Jr Kathleen, and Jack Once you understand their dynamics, it gives you a whole different perspective on JFK And the story of Kathleen s first marriage to a member of the Peerage is illuminating because you can just feel [...]


    Eileen G

    This book reminds me that all of us have strengths and weaknesses Joseph P Kennedy, Sr was so very bright, ambitious, and devoted to his family however, he also could be heartless, unsympathetic, and driven to achieve his goals such that he would not hesitate to ignore those who stood in his way The overt discrimination he encountered as a young man including while attending Harvard University as an undergraduate remained with him throughout the rest of his life A very interesting readry well re [...]


    Phyllis

    Long, well presented and thoroughly researched book I particularly was taken with the chapters on the Fitzgeralds in Boston Seeing the Irish immigrant ghetto as it really was makes a fascingating read The rampant discrimination against Catholics, and Irish Catholics in particular, should raise your hackles Although we all know how it turns out , the getting there presents new, interesting information on the early days and histories of both families And politicspolitics have not changed since the [...]


    Dana

    This author wrote an amazing account of one of the most if not most amazing family in American history I wanted to answer the question if these historical figures were actually good people I still believe that JFK was a good politician and deserves American respect with the knowledge that he was a horrible husband John Fitzgerald was a successful politician who made many mistakes that should have tainted his image than it did at the time The answer to my question regarding Joseph Kennedy is no. [...]


    Ronald White

    An absolutely wonderful book There are numerous biographies on the Kennedys I believe this one to be the very best I simply find it so hard to believe if anyone is looking to learn about this complicated family that this book end up being a favorite Indeed, Doris Kearns Goodwin is a master of biography, this without question, is her finest book And, yes, I understand that is quite a statement


    Connie

    As usual, Doris Kearns Goodwin does not disappoint This tome of a text chronicles the Fitzgerald and Kennedy families from their humble beginnings as Irish immigrants in America The portrait that Kearns paints of each family is not glossed over, but one that describes their faults as well as their contribution to our society This was written in the sixties and is complete with JFK s election to the presidency and a single sentence about his assassination A long read, but worth it for sure.


    Edwin

    This work is a masterpiece.is is the only way i know to discribe it Doris K Goodwin did a wonderful job here This biography of the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys have really impacted positively on me.The man i have so much respect for in this work is Joseph P Kennedy, father of John F Kennedy.I read how a father was able to impact vision and greatness into his children Joseph Kennedy, as far as am concern is the real hero in the kennedy clan I recommend this book for all my friends.


    Cliff

    With all that has been written about the Kennedys, this is an eye opener about the FitzGerald familyRose Kennedy s ancestors Having been born in Boston, I recognized many of the places discussed This book gets into the minds of the two families There is no sugar coating of the Royal American Family I have owned this book for many years and finally read it A treasure.


    Jill

    Very LONG I found myself skimming a lot and looking at the pictures to make connections with the people they were talking about I enjoyed the section about the Kennedys than the beginning with the Fitzgeralds which had actually put me to sleep a few times I was fascinated with the way the Kennedys made money and moved up in society.


    Luckngrace

    I especially liked the background material on Honey Fitz and Rose and learned that John was the sickly child The many instances of risky behavior helped me understand the recent deaths of John Jr and his cousin s Robert Jr death while snow skiing I wish I could have controlled and inspired my children as well as Rose Very enjoyable read.


    Cheryl

    This family saga reads like a novel So interesting Goodwin tells the story of the Fitzgeralds and then of the Kennedys, and then weaves them together after the wedding of Rose and Joe The Kennedy family gave her unrestricted access to their family letters, papers, photos, etc and, as usual, Goodwin gives us a wonderful book.



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