The Kennedys: What We Know Now That We Didn’t Know Then (NYC)

Saturday, May 05, 2018 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
The Kennedys: What We Know Now That We Didn't Know Then

David Nasaw / City University of New York

The Kennedys, father Joe and mother Rose; Joe, Jr., Jack, Bobby, and Ted; Rosemary, Kick, Eunice, Pat, and Jean have been part of our lives for more than six decades. It has taken almost this long for historians to pierce the myths so carefully planted, embellished, and guarded by the family and its retainers. And the counter-myths propagated and spread by the family's powerful enemies. Was Joseph Kennedy a bootlegger? A Nazi sympathizer? Was Jack Kennedy so addicted to the drugs prescribed to ease his back pains that it affected his judgment while president? Was Bobby the ruthless family operative dedicated to destroying the family's and America's enemies, from Jimmy Hoffa to Fidel Castro, no matter what the costs or risks? How did Ted, the family playboy, become a lion of the Senate? And what of poor Rosemary? How and why was she lobotomized? Why did she spend her life cut off from her family?

On May 5, David Nasaw, Arthur M. Schlesinger Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center, and prize-winning biographer of Joseph P. Kennedy, will, based on a near decade of research into previously closed documents, try to separate fiction from fact, myth from reality, and reveal what we now know about the Kennedy family.

David Nasaw / City University of New York

David Nasaw is the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center and the current president of the Society of American Historians. Hiss most recent publication, “The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy,” was selected by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of the Year and was a 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography. He is also the author of “Andrew Carnegie,” a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the recipient of the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.