Ted Kennedy Biographies

Two biographies released this year and an autobiography coming next month capture the life of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

"True Compass: A Memoir" by Edward M. Kennedy will be released Sept. 14 by Twelve, a Hachette Book Group imprint. The publisher said today: "We are deeply saddened by today's news. In the final years of his life, we had the honor of working with Senator Kennedy on his autobiography, "True Compass." He worked valiantly to finish the book and make it the best it could be. As always, he was true to his word. The result is a great and inspiring legacy to readers everywhere, a case study in perseverance."

"Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography" by Adam Clymer, originally published in 1999, was reissued this year with updates. Publishers Weekly wrote, "Adam Clymer, in his lengthy biography of Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, understands that his subject is simultaneously one of the most loved and most hated figures in American politics."

"Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy" edited by Peter S. Canellos also was published this year. Writing in The Washington Post, Chris Cillizza called it "an insightful biography by a team of Boston Globe reporters and editors [that reveals] Kennedy's ability to recover -- and often prosper -- from misfortune. Over the last half-century, the roly-poly (his sister Jean nicknamed him 'Biscuits and Muffins') youngest child of America's 'First Family' has rebounded from unspeakable tragedies and self-inflicted wounds with a resilience that has become his lasting contribution to the legacy of Camelot."

And last year, the critically acclaimed Ethan Canin published a novel called "America America," which began with a funeral for the country's greatest liberal senator, whose presidential ambitions were smashed years earlier by the death of a young campaign aide in a drunk-driving accident. Book World critic Ron Charles wrote, "The novel really isn't about Sen. Ted Kennedy, but the resemblance is impossible to ignore, and Kennedy's recent announcement that he has a malignant brain tumor has already started, for many of us, the process of reflection that 'America America' records in such sensitive detail."

By Steven E. Levingston |  August 26, 2009; 12:57 PM ET Nonfiction , Steven Levingston
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