The Irish Brotherhood: John F. Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency

The Irish Brotherhood: John F. Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency

The Irish Brotherhood: John F. Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency

The Irish Brotherhood: John F. Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619027053
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 03/15/2016
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 991,376
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Helen O'Donnell is the daughter of John F. Kennedy's top–gun political aide, Kenneth P. O'Donnell. Ms. O'Donnell is the author of A Common Good: The Friendship of Robert F. Kennedy and Kenneth P. O'Donnell. She also worked with Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball on his 2012 book Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. She lives in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Kenneth "Kenny" O'Donnell, Sr was a war hero and a graduate of Harvard University where he played football with Robert F. Kennedy. Through his relationship with Bobby, he became Jack Kennedy's top political aide during the 1950s. In 1960, he worked hand in glove with Jack and Bobby as they designed and drove the Kennedy Machine to victory.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Loss 7

Chapter 2 Early Days 21

Chapter 3 Building the Team 37

Chapter 4 The Upset 57

Chapter 5 Taking Over the State 87

Chapter 6 The Kennedy Operation 107

Chapter 7 Jack's "Valley of Depression" 131

Chapter 8 Chicago 149

Chapter 9 Washington Interlude 173

Chapter 10 The McClellan Committee 191

Chapter 11 The Landslide 213

Chapter 12 The Kennedy Kickoff in Palm Beach 241

Chapter 13 Going Nationwide 259

Chapter 14 Ohio or Wisconsin? 285

Chapter 15 Wisconsin, West Virginia, and the Catholic Issue 307

Chapter 16 Hardball Politics in Pennsylvania 331

Chapter 17 Los Angeles: The Democratic National Convention 345

Chapter 18 The National Campaign: Round One 367

Chapter 19 The Campaign 393

Chapter 20 Election Night 415

Chapter 21 Taking Power 429

Chapter 22 That Jack Magic 455

Epilogue 479

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