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Monday, May 3, 2010
Review - True Compass - A Memoir by Ted Kennedy
Title: True Compass - A Memoir
Author: Ted Kennedy
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Rating: You Gotta Read
Reviewed by: Val
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.
I am a person who doesn't really mind reading about history but it wouldn't be one of my priorities. Add to that, when I see a book with the word Memoir next to it, it's even lower on my list. HOWEVER, True Compass didn't seem like either to me. It simply was one man telling his story with grace, humor and intelligence. I felt like it could have been my father or grandfather speaking to me. I haven't followed Edward Kennedy's political life very closely but while I was listening to this audiobook, I felt it was a shame that I hadn't. True Compass was not a book written to back up decisions made by anyone in the Kennedy family nor is it a book that makes excuses for any behavior. It is a matter of fact book that is easy to fall in love with. Ted's love for his wife tugs at the heartstrings and makes a very important impact on his life. I was not born in Ted Kennedy's era, more like his grandchildren but I learned so much of the Kennedy's, politics and how life actually was for him in his time. I highly recommend True Compass to anyone. It's a legacy that anyone should be proud to leave behind. Even if this type of book is one you would not normally pick up, I challenge you to read it. I know you will love it just as much as I did.