True Compass: A Memoir
True Compass: A Memoir
Edward M. Kennedy
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
piece. On April 30, 1973, the core of his brain trust—H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Kleindienst—resigned, and White House counsel John Dean was fired. In the early spring, Mike Mansfield persuaded Sam Ervin to chair the hearings looking into Watergate. I was not a member of Ervin’s special Senate committee, respecting Mansfield’s view that my status as a possible candidate for the presidency in 1976 would have raised conflict-of-interest questions. On May 18, the Senate Watergate
grew up eager not to disappoint him, determined never to meet any challenge in a halfhearted way, ultimately confident that if he knew I had done my best, he would—even if things turned out badly—give me what amounted to his benediction: “After you have done your best, then the hell with it.” My father knew whereof he spoke. By the dawn of the 1940s he had already done his best, on the world stage, and failed—failed to forestall the most devastating war in history. In February 1938, within
after midterm elections, in order to de-politicize the decision. As for “motives,” those stated by the Bush administration itself were unacceptable on their face. “The Bush administration says we must take preemptive action against Iraq,” I pointed out from the Senate floor in October 2002. “But what the administration is really calling for is preventive war, which flies in the face of international rules of acceptable behavior.” I was far blunter less than two years later, when the loss of life
shut away. Our conversations are long, our banter is fast, and her humor keeps life fun. Words are very much a part of our lives, but it is also the quiet moments when, hand in hand, we invite the stillness in, which truly sustains my faith and touches my heart. Vicki understood the story I wanted to tell before I did. She helped me address aspects of my life I’d never expressed to anyone before, and she gave me the guidance and confidence to proceed. This project began in 2004 at the Miller
draw several of Joseph Kennedy’s “hostages to fortune” into its maw. Joe was the first. He earned his navy aviator wings in May 1942 at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. My father was on hand to pin them on him. Jack followed our brother a few weeks later. He had faced numerous health challenges growing up, and he was concerned that he wouldn’t be allowed into the military. And in fact he had failed the army physical, mostly because of his torturously bad back. But he would not give up. He