David Nasaw was approached to write a biography about Joseph Kennedy by Kennedy's children Jean Kennedy Smith and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. They offered unfettered access to previously unseen papers.
Having written biographies of Andrew Carnegie and William Randolph Hearst, Nasaw does a good job showing how these titans of business operate. His new book is: The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy.
Nasaw details how Kennedy was a brilliant businessman and an outstanding chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who failed utterly as a diplomat when FDR named him as the ambassador to Great Britain. He was a spectacular father who adored his nine children, four of whom pre-deceased him and he was one of America's most complicated and controversial figures.
David Nasaw is the author of Andrew Carnegie and The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst. He is the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.