Joseph P. Kennedy Presents

  • by Cari Beauchamp
  • Narrated by Pam Ward
  • 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Beauchamp writes about the pictures Kennedy produced, the stars he made - and destroyed - and the men who did his bidding. She also writes about the Hollywood titans in his midst: William Randolph Hearst, Cecille B. DeMille, and David Sarnoff, whose collaboration with Kennedy resulted in the formation of RKO Studios. A fascinating tale of personal greed and business genius that examines not only the way Kennedy made his fortune but what he left in his path and how he forever changed the business of movie making.


What the Critics Say

"He operated just like Joe Stalin. Their system was to write a letter to the files saying one thing and order the exact reverse on the phone." (Gloria Swanson)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great history

Must reading for any one who wants to know the true story of the Kennedys and how they got their millions.
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- Bob

Ethically challenged, financially brilliant

The Kennedy that emerges in this book is a brilliant businessman and a charismatic figure who had the foresight to invent new ways of structuring companies to maximize profits for himself, although in a classic case of shutting the barn door after the horses have escaped, many of these methods were later regulated out of existence, due perhaps in part to the wreckage that he left behind. Beauchamp points out that to Kennedy's way of thinking, this kind of wreckage was not his problem: if Gloria Swanson or others who trusted him did not look out for themselves, that was their fault for being too naive. The women left in the wake of his serial and incessant womanizing (as described here) were similarly at fault, in his mind, if they didn't manage to escape the charm offensive (and occasionally hands-on groping) that he continued to engage in throughout his life.

Lest this sound too negative, Beauchamp stresses Kennedy's love for his children despite absences from home that seem from this book to stretch for months at a time. Kennedy had charm, energy, intelligence, and charisma, and he could read a balance sheet like nobody's business. Ethics in business seems to have eluded him as a concept, but he had a powerful grasp of the idea of public relations. Although he used these in damaging ways (as during his isolationism in WWII), he's still a fascinating figure to read about.
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- Chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-03-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.