Jane's Reviews > True Compass: A Memoir

True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy
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Jan 04, 2010

really liked it
Read in December, 2010

About 35 years ago I read a biography of Ted Kennedy (I don't remember who wrote it) and came away feeling that any of us could have accomplished what he did if we'd had his advantages. After reading True Compass I feel totally differently. Of course, he'd had those 35 years to accomplish all he did in the Senate and well as run for President briefly. However, his version of his childhood, being shuttled back and forth to Florida from New England to stay with his mother, consequently having to change schools so frequently that I'm amazed he could remember any teachers or friends at all, made me pity and admire the way he toughed out all the feelings of being an outsider and continued trying to please his parents and family. Kennedy touches on the low moments in his life, including the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne, and takes full responsibility. He give full credit to his wife Vicky for playing a huge role in helping him find his place in the world after the assassination of Bobby, when he admits to feeling lost and confused. At the end of the book he credits the man who helped him write the book, and I do too. The style is straightforward, clear, and not unnecessarily detailed. I enjoyed revisiting the events of history that Kennedy played a part in from his point of view, especially learning of his friendships and conflicts with other politicians, and came away thankful for his life.
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Gordon Francisco Nice review...I always thought it would be incredible to sail with him...still do.


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