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

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HarperCollins, Apr 29, 2008 - History - 400 pages

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.

Arriving in London in early 1938, the Irish-Catholic Kennedys were welcomed by politicians, aristocrats, and intellectuals, all eager to court America. They finally appeared to have overcome their lifelong status as outsiders. From 1938 to 1940, the Kennedys crystallized their identity as protagonists on the world stage, making public the competitive and clannish intrafamily dynamics that would fuel their mythic rise to power. They all learned from their father's successes—and failures. The older children—Joe Jr., Jack, and Kathleen—took an active part in England's glittering, "last fling before the bombs fall" society, but all nine children charmed, their every move chronicled by the British and American media. 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.

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.

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User Review  - briandrewz - LibraryThing

Extremely interesting account of Joe Kennedy Sr.'s tenure as Ambassador to the Court of St. James's. The press went wild for the large family, especially the nine children Kennedy set loose to conquer ... Read full review

THE KENNEDYS AMIDST THE GATHERING STORM: A Thousand Days in London, 1938-1940

User Review  - Kirkus

A sympathetic reappraisal of Joseph P. Kennedy's controversial tenure as America's ambassador to Britain.With the European dictators Mussolini and Hitler becoming increasingly belligerent, Kennedy's ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Will Swift, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, who has been writing about American leaders and British royalty of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for more than twenty years. 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., called "an excellent book." Will Swift lives in New York City and at the Nathan Wild House in Valatie, New York.

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