The Irish Brotherhood : John F. Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency
Overview - The Irish Brotherhood is the history of Jack Kennedy's original political inner circle. Led by Bobby Kennedy, Kenny O'Donnell, Larry O'Brien, and Dave Powers they were tough minded, Irish-Catholic guys who were joined together by a common ambition to see Jack Kennedy through to the White House. Read more...
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More About The Irish Brotherhood by Helen O'Donnell; Sr. Kenneth O'Donnell
The Irish Brotherhood
is the history of Jack Kennedy's original political inner circle. Led by Bobby Kennedy, Kenny O'Donnell, Larry O'Brien, and Dave Powers they were tough minded, Irish-Catholic guys who were joined together by a common ambition to see Jack Kennedy through to the White House. War veterans who were young, ambitious, and they wanted their country back. Jack Kennedy was their man, their leader. No matter that he was Irish, Catholic, and his "Old Man" had made as many enemies as friends - Jack had ambition, brains, a special charisma. To win the White House would be a victory not only for Jack Kennedy, but for the downtrodden. They collectively decided that if the political powers would not let them in willingly then they would kick the door down. At the center of the story is Kenny O'Donnell, Jack Kennedy's tough talking, no-bullshit, top political aide. Jack recognized he needed Kenny's blue collar, political genius and Kenny recognized something special in Jack. The Irish Brotherhood
describes what it was like to be inside the Kennedy inner circle. With Bobby, who was determined to make his own mark apart from his famous family, his life-long struggle, never won, never lost. With Joe, as Kenny and Larry prove to him that their outsider approach was going to work after Jack's crushing victory in '58, which sets the stage for the Presidential campaign to come. This book is a missing piece of the story of the improbable rise to power of John F. Kennedy and further fills out the picture of the man revealing that Jack Kennedy was at heart a politician. He enjoyed the rough and tumble and despite his personal issues, or perhaps because of them, he became determined to succeed beyond anybody's expectations. It is intriguing an indelible portrait of the son, brother, friend, Congressman, Senator and President.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Working from extensive recordings left by her father, former political aide Kenneth “Kenny” O’Donnell Sr., Helen O’Donnell (A Common Good) produces an intimate, complex look at the years leading up to J.F.K.’s presidency, a span covering 1946–1961. Drawing from these personal recollections, she reconstructs pivotal scenes, setbacks, and challenges as Kennedy ascended the political ranks. However, this is more than a book about Kennedy; it focuses on the so-called Irish Brotherhood: his closest friends and advisors, “the group of men who gathered around John Kennedy as he made his dramatic rise.” As she notes, “this book is my father’s story of his Jack and Bobby Kennedy”—a story her father always wanted to tell but never did. Certain themes, of course, crop up with regularity: politics, religion, and the tight-knit bond of Irish-Americans that helped hold this circle together over the years. Though mainly channeling her father’s experiences, O’Donnell presents them in an accessible, engaging manner; the figures portrayed are full-fledged characters, and the story unfolds like a political drama. Nevertheless, it remains a narrow slice of the Kennedy legend, focused solely on his political career, ending as he enters the White House and treating him as a larger-than-life icon. (Mar.)