The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm: A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940

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9780061173561: The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm: A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940

In The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm, Will Swift presents a fresh, empathetic interpre­tation of the ambassadorship of Joseph Kennedy and explores the intricate, often shifting relation­ships among Kennedy, Chamberlain, Churchill, and, of course, Roosevelt.

Arriving in London in early 1938, the Irish-Catholic Kennedys were welcomed by politicians, aristocrats, and intellectuals, all eager to court America. They finally appeared to have overcome their lifelong status as outsiders. From 1938 to 1940, the Kennedys crystallized their identity as protagonists on the world stage, making public the competitive and clannish intrafamily dynamics that would fuel their mythic rise to power. They all learned from their father's successes—and failures. The older children—Joe Jr., Jack, and Kathleen—took an active part in England's glittering, "last fling before the bombs fall" society, but all nine children charmed, their every move chronicled by the British and American media. John F. Kennedy's path to the White House began in London. As his father's political fortunes dimmed, Jack published a best-selling book and his star rose.

Drawing on recently released Kennedy family archives, Joseph P. Kennedy's private papers, and using rare photographs of English society and the photogenic Kennedy clan, Dr. Swift, with penetrating psychological insight, brings to life this fascinating family during a dramatic one thousand day period.

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About the Author:

Will Swift, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, who has been writing about American leaders and British royalty of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for more than twenty years. He is the author of The Roosevelts and the Royals, which Blanche Wiesen Cook called "a splendid addition to our understanding of the extraordinary Anglo-American partnership," and which Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., called "an excellent book." Will Swift lives in New York City and at the Nathan Wild House in Valatie, New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

Clinical psychologist and historian Swift (The Roosevelts and the Royals) capably documents Joseph P. Kennedy's troubled tenure as American minister to the Court of St. James's, and the experiences of his family during these years, aiming to present a fair and comprehensive portrait of a man he says has been caricatured by other historians. But Kennedy's flaws still appear to outweigh his virtues. He proved a problem to FDR almost immediately, casting his lot with such British appeasers as Neville Chamberlain, Nancy Astor and others of the so-called Cliveden set. This earned him the enmity of Winston Churchill and criticism from such administration figures as Henry Morgenthau Jr., Cordell Hull and FDR himself, who had to regularly remind Kennedy that his role was to implement, not define, United States policy. Kennedy lasted just over two years, during which his second eldest son, Jack, became a bestselling author with Why England Slept. Eldest son Joe Jr. toured war-torn Spain and wrote articles in support of Franco's Fascist forces. And daughter Kathleen (Kick) became immersed in aristocratic British nightlife, meeting Billy Cavendish—the marquess of Hartington and a Protestant—to whom she would eventually be married, to her Catholic mother's horror. All this Swift narrates with grace and style. Illus. and photos. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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