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Eunice : The Kennedy Who Changed the World
by Eileen McNamara


Overview - A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines the life and times of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, arguing she left behind the Kennedy family's most profound political legacy.

While Joe Kennedy was grooming his sons for the White House and the Senate, his Stanford-educated daughter Eunice was tapping her father's fortune and her brothers' political power to engineer one of the great civil rights movements of our time on behalf of millions of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Read more...


 
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More About Eunice by Eileen McNamara
 
 
 
Overview
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines the life and times of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, arguing she left behind the Kennedy family's most profound political legacy.

While Joe Kennedy was grooming his sons for the White House and the Senate, his Stanford-educated daughter Eunice was tapping her father's fortune and her brothers' political power to engineer one of the great civil rights movements of our time on behalf of millions of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Now, in Eunice, Pulitzer Prize winner Eileen McNamara finally brings Eunice Kennedy Shriver out from her brothers' shadow to show an officious, cigar-smoking, indefatigable woman of unladylike determination and deep compassion born of rage: at the medical establishment that had no answers for her sister Rosemary; at the revered but dismissive father whose vision for his family did not extend beyond his sons; and at the government that failed to deliver on America's promise of equality.

Granted access to never-before-seen private papers--from the scrapbooks Eunice kept as a schoolgirl in prewar London to her thoughts on motherhood and feminism--McNamara paints a vivid portrait of a woman both ahead of her time and out of step with it: the visionary founder of the Special Olympics, a devout Catholic in a secular age, and a formidable woman whose impact on American society was longer lasting than that of any of the Kennedy men.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781451642261
  • ISBN-10: 1451642261
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: April 2018
  • Page Count: 416
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Social Activists
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Political
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Women

 
BookPage Reviews

The Kennedy on the sidelines

If you’re sitting down with the audaciously titled Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eileen McNamara, you may find yourself exhausted by vicariously participating in the life of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the woman who most famously founded the Special Olympics but also served as cheerleader-in-chief for the Kennedy political dynasty.

Shriver, the fifth of nine children born to Joseph Kennedy Sr. and his wife, Rose, never stopped working for the causes she believed in. The book’s full title serves as a pointed reminder that had she been a man, Shriver would have been fully encouraged to ascend to the political heights achieved by her male family members, such as her brother, John F. Kennedy.

The Kennedys have fiercely controlled their family’s reputation, making honest biographies a challenge. But following Shriver’s death at 88 in 2009, members of the Shriver family provided McNamara with access to 33 boxes of private papers that open a window into a remarkable life, warts and all. Most amusing among the papers are Shriver’s notes to herself, including tips on how to make small talk at the many parties she attended.

But access isn’t everything, and McNamara wields a deft touch as she recounts Shriver’s role in the Special Olympics and extending rights for the developmentally disabled, which was surely influenced by the tragic story of her older sister Rosemary, who was born with intellectual disabilities and sent out of public view after a botched lobotomy. Audaciously titled or not, Eunice leaves no doubt that its subject truly changed the world.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews