Q. Why did you write this book?And the last:
A. For as long as I can remember, I had planned to write my memoirs. I wanted to tell the story of my life and describe some of the history I've witnessed and been part of. I'm a student of history, a lifelong reader, so I've always thought it would be the right thing to do at the right time.
Q. What's the ultimate message of the book?Which certainly, serving as a United States Senator through 10 presidents and authoring approximately 2,500 major bills--at least 300 of which have become law--he did.
A. Perseverance. Stand up for what you believe, and always look forward with hope.
Whatever else we can say and know about Edward Kennedy, the so-called Chappaquiddick incident--in which Mary Jo Kopechne died in a car Kennedy was driving--cast a large shadow on his life and career, and no doubt cost him a shot at the U.S. presidency.
Joyce Carol Oates's 1992 novella Black Water (Dutton) fictionalizes the story, perhaps as an homage to Kopechne--who becomes a footnote--making her loss vivid and poignant.
New York Times reporter Robert Sherrill's entertaining 1976 book The Last Kennedy (The Dial Press), about Kennedy before and after Chappaquiddick, takes an interesting path. He asserts it was intended to...
present a case study of how a famous politician--by delays, by obfuscation, by propaganda, by all sorts of tricks and wiles--can kill somebody under mysterious circumstances and still regularly receive more than 40 per cent of the support in presidential polls. That's about as close to a miracle as we are likely to come in these pagan days.