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

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


Publishers Weekly Review

The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm:
A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940
Will Swift. Collins/Smithsonian, $26.95 (352p)
ISBN 978-0-06-117356-1

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)

 

 


The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm: A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940
by Will Swift
Smithsonian Books: April 2008; ISBN-10: 0061173576; ISBN-13: 978-0061173561; Hardcover/Paperback; 352 pages
Now available at Amazon, BN.com, or your local bookstore

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