The Kennedy Women : A personal appraisal by Pearl S. Buck
The Kennedy Women : A personal appraisal by Pearl S. Buck

The Kennedy Women : A personal appraisal by Pearl S. Buck

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New York : Cowles Book Company, 1970. Signed by Pearl S. Buck. Fourth printing. Hardcover. 218 pages ; 21 cm. $5.95 dust jacket unclipped. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.

The Kennedy Women

America's First Lady of Literature, Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck focuses her unique talents on the distaff side of an American dynasty.

With the insight born of her own hardships, Pearl Buck presents a compassionate yet candid portrait of the women who were born Kennedys or married Kennedy men. She writes of Rose, beautiful, well-bred, and politically wise; of her first daughter, the lovely but retarded Rosemary; of Kathleen and Eunice, Jean and Joan; of the ebullient Ethel, the rebellious Patricia, the self-willed Jacqueline; and, lastly, of young Caroline.

Although all the Kennedys have been constantly on display, the women have always stood in the shadows of their strong, brilliant, ambitious men. A deep sense of family unity has dictated that their "public faces" be unfailingly genteel, confident, and proper. But what of their private emotions? What are their needs, their weaknesses, their strengths? Miss Buck has only profound respect for Rose —a woman whose constant, unshakable faith in God has enabled her to endure with dignity an endless assault of grief.

This is a woman's view of the tragic deterioration of a proud and powerful family— caused, Miss Buck believes, by the standards and failures of the society that spawned it.

She likens the Kennedys to a similar family in China who suffered the same "curse of greatness." Miss Buck knew the Kung family intimately for many years and she suffered with them each time envy, greed, and resentment threatened their lives. In the end, communism succeeded in destroying this ancient Chinese family. Will, our society do the same to the Kennedys?

We have already brought about the physical and moral assassination of the controlling males — leaving a handful of Kennedy women to lead a virtually fatherless generation. Can these women direct their sons and daughters back to greatness? Miss Buck's conjecture of what the future may hold for the Kennedy clan is thoughtful, sobering, and, at times, surprising.

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