Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World

S. & S. Apr. 2018. 416p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451642261. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781451642278. BIOG
OrangeReviewStarPulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe journalist McNamara (director, journalism, Brandeis Univ.) presents a biography of Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921–2009), asserting hers as the most significant legacy of the Kennedy family. With the support and resources of the Shriver family and friends, as well as comprehensive research, McNamara crafts a captivating narrative that guides readers through her subject's tragedies and triumphs. Shriver grew up in a family and a society that prioritized male accomplishment, especially living in the shadow of her brothers John and Robert. Her tremendous contributions and invincible spirit are brought to the forefront as the author documents how Shriver continuously faced challenges yet looked forward to how she could next contribute to society, often pushing her way into the most important rooms to make her priorities heard. While there are innumerable books written about the Kennedys, particularly the Kennedy men, McNamara's study provides a much-needed portrait of the Kennedy sister who ruled from the sidelines.
VERDICT Highly recommended for Kennedy aficionados, as well as those invested in learning about influential figures in women's history.
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