Justin Mitchell's Reviews > The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty he Founded

The Sins of the Father by Ronald Kessler
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Oct 01, 13

Read in January, 2010

Don't know if having read The Dark Side of Camelot right before this ruined it for me or not. But I doubt it, because I found this book to be very disorganized, poorly researched, and extremely biased. Kessler seems out to smear Kennedy from the start. Now, granted, Kennedy was clearly a terrible human being, but that isn't an excuse. Seymour Hersh exploded the Kennedy myth in Dark Side without stooping to editorializing, but Kessler can't manage to mask his disdain for not only Joe Kennedy, but all the Kennedys, and in the end he causes his book to lose credibility. And it's amusing that Kessler castigates Kennedy for his pettiness and vindictiveness while at the same time exemplifying exactly those qualities in his writing. Discovering he is a prominent conservative was definitely not a surprise.

Generally, this is worth reading if you find the Kennedy myth as interesting as I do, but The Dark Side of Camelot goes over most of what is in this book and feels more thorough and authoritative, so I'd recommend it over this one.
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