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John F. Kennedy's path to the White House began in London.

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As his father's political fortunes dimmed, Jack published a best-selling book and his star rose. Drawing on recently released Kennedy family archives, Joseph P. Kennedy's private papers, and using rare photographs of English society and the photogenic Kennedy clan, Dr. Swift, with penetrating psychological insight, brings to life this fascinating family during a dramatic one thousand day period. Will Swift, Ph.


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He is the author of The Roosevelts and the Royals , which Blanche Wiesen Cook called "a splendid addition to our understanding of the extraordinary Anglo-American partnership," and which Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. He has constructed a thoroughly revisionist but remarkably persuasive history of Joseph P. Kennedy's years in London. Swift's psychological insight into the Kennedy family members and their dynamics makes a major contribution to the Kennedy literature.

Will Swift's Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm offers a stunning, revisionist portrait of the most remarkable Kennedy of all--the founding father. By wisely presenting pre-war London as a crucible in the family history, he exposes the origin of many of the political, social, personal triumphs and tragedies that have cast the family--the father in particular--as a modern-day Lear.

Swift is the first to concentrate on this unusual subject with such a wealth of sympathetic detail. The depth of research illuminates not only the personal beliefs of Joseph Kennedy during the ineluctable progress to war but also the difficulties, complexities and sheer hard work of an ambassador during one of the most turbulent periods of western history.

A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940

John F. Kennedy's path to the White House began in London. As his father's political fortunes dimmed, Jack published a best-selling book and his star rose. Book Summary In The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm , Will Swift presents a fresh, empathetic interpretation of the ambassadorship of Joseph Kennedy and explores the intricate, often shifting relationships among Kennedy, Chamberlain, Churchill, and, of course, Roosevelt. 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.

The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm

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.

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This earned him the enmity of Winston Churchill and criticism from such administration figures as Henry Morgenthau Jr. 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.

Marlborough scene from The Gathering Storm (2002)