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Publisher's Summary

Born into enormous privilege as well as burdened by gut-wrenching family tragedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford now shares his life story, offering a rare glimpse into the private worlds of the rich and famous of both Washington politics and the Hollywood elite. A triumphantly inspiring memoir, the first from a Kennedy family member since Rose Kennedy's 1974 autobiography, Lawford's Symptoms of Withdrawal tells the bittersweet truth about life inside America's greatest family legacy.As the firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, sister to John F. Kennedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford grew up with presidents and movie stars as close relatives and personal friends.
Lawford recalls Marilyn Monroe teaching him to dance the twist in his living room when he was still a toddler, being awakened late at night by his uncle Jack to hear him announce his candidacy for president, being perched atop a high-roller craps table in Las Vegas while Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack swapped jokes and threw dice, and other treasured memories of his youth as part of America's royal family.
In spite of this seemingly idyllic childhood, Lawford's early life was marked by the traumatic assassinations of his beloved uncles Jack and Bobby, and he soon succumbed to the burgeoning drug scene of the 1970s during his teen years. With compelling realism mixed with equal doses of self-deprecating wit, youthful bravado, and hard-earned humility, Symptoms of Withdrawal chronicles Lawford's deep and long descent into near-fatal drug and alcohol addiction, and his subsequent formidable path back to the sobriety he has preserved for the past 20 years.
©2005 Christopher Kennedy Lawford; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"You don't have to care about Kennedys to find this a moving tale of self-discovery and redemption. Whatever else he may have been, son, nephew, cousin, etc., Christopher Lawford shows himself here to be a writer of talent and grace." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Fortunee on 10-02-05

Discovery of Real Freedom

A surprising tale of profound achievement and authentic charm -- being narrated by Lawford added wonderful texture. Another side of the memoir is how it reminds me of Andrew Morton's life of Diana. Different in the sense that the Diana story was never finished with stable discovery of self, but similar in telling a frank account against a major publicity machine -- the Kennedys in this case. Bravo, Christopher Lawford.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

By Jodi L Miller on 09-20-15


I really loved this autobiography!! I liked that the author narrated his story, Christopher Lawford does a wonderful job bringing across his emotion to the listener! Very well done!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Katie on 06-24-17

Fantastic memoir

Beautiful writing and fantastic true life recollection of a man's struggles with life and sobriety

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