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tv   Susan Ronald The Ambassador  CSPAN  November 22, 2021 12:34pm-1:37pm EST

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>> it is my great joy and privileged to be able to introduce all of you to susan ronald, our speaker today. susan was born in the united states but lived in england where shiflett for a number of years. she is a biographer, historian and author of several books in addition to the condé nast book which was mentioned. she wrote a dangerous woman and hitler's art and heretic queen among others. she's meticulous researcher and is an incredible number of resources for her book and a book she's going to be talking today about is "the ambassador" which is about joseph kennedy at the time when he was ambassador toto great britain at the beginning of world war ii. we will have a time for q&a at the end of the presentation so if you have questions as we go along please enter them in the chat and we will bring them to her then. thank you.
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susan. >> thank you very much, mary. i'm really happy to be here and thank you, everybody for coming to listen to me at 2:00 in the afternoon. i am going to try and screen share, so bear with me. here we go. there we are. okay. people ask why joe kennedy? what made you want to write about him? people know bits and pieces about it. some know a lot about you but the answer is quite simple. i write about power and greed, so this is my shameless piece of self-promotion that i'm giving you. the last three books are about powerful people and greed. the only one who is a good guy is actually condé nast, okay? move on from that real quick. joe kennedy was seen to be the founder of the kennedy political dynasty. he had nine children. they were all heavily competitive with one another. they were often described as a
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clan or a tribe, and they actually were. joe, jr., the oldest, died and fortunately during the war but he seemed to be the brother who they loved but they also feared the most. he was apparently quite a bully actually and resembled his father the most as well. the actual founder of the american kennedy clan was patrick justice w kennedy who ws joe's father. he was a first-generation american. he was very active in east boston which was the poor immigrant area primarily of irish immigrants, and he was the one the kennedy side of the family involved in politics. he was thehe head of ward two ad if you have read edwin o connors book the last hurrah, that will give you an idea of the type of shenanigans that they got up to. he became actually quite wealthy
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out of being a local ward politician which was i scratch your back you scratch my type of existence. but the man whoh was really in charge of boston's w democratic politics was john fitzgerald, who was known as honey fitz. he was rose kennedy's father. he looked down on patrick kennedy. he was twice mayor of boston, a state senator and he also went to the house of representatives. and didn't like the fact kennedy was quoting his eldest college-educated daughter, but only agree to allow her to marry joe because he is going to become the youngest bank president in america. here's a picture of joe as the youngest bank president in america. nevermind the bank was a very small boston bank and that his father owned most of the shares. this is the wedding picture. lid
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somebody said they didn't like the tree she was taking with her but they were married in octobes that honey fitz did was to make sure he would keep joe on the straight and narrow which of course he could never do that he gave joe his own private secretary a man over here anymore in a matter of fact ted kennedy was named he became a permanent fixture and stayed with joe until he died this was taken in 1938 when he was on holidays with his wife mary and rose and the children. joe biden 1917 had two sons by rose and joe junior on the left and jack i don't call john f. kennedy john i call him jack
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because that's how the family referred to him but in 1917 the war came to america, world war i came to america but it was a great world war because you cannot number in number them, he asked for reserve documentation meeting he would not be drafted and you already received his draft notice. the honey fitz and he became a manager at the fore river shipyard in boston. the only problem joe hadn't been briefed combination of that and people had actually been drafted in management and governor roosevelt was angry because everybody walked out on the eastern seaboard, he and charles
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schwab who owned the shipyard as he was in in charge had to step in personally to get the men back to work and joe was put into a lesser function until the war was over. after the war he went to work for stockbrokers and after couple years he went to wall street and by 1925 he made his first millions and set up his children with million-dollar trust funds in 1925 he bought this house in palm filled avenue in new york and then set about making a second fortune because he heard that they were going to make talkies in california and los angeles and he thought this is the thing for me, i know what
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i'm going to do but instead of making his money out of his movie he had a department store in boston back him to buy a very small company field distribution company called the booking offices of america and joe began his hike, he's a master showman of the world, his films are usually quite profitable but they are what i would call c or d and where he made his money was emerging fbo with rko and later emerging in, he created the very first in large studio. the other thing he did in hollywood was to manage the biggest star gloria swanson and they became lovers. unfortunately within two years
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shows tires of his job said that would be two years that's why he has a busy career but mainly he made two films with gloria towards the end of 1931 called queen kelly which was so bad it was never released and the other one called what a widow and when gloria asked him isn't there a bookkeeping error here you've seem to given the writer a new cadillac for coming up with the title what a widow joe looked at her and turned bright red and walked out of her life she never heard from them again in 1930 after the wall street crashed, apple days when the wall street
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traders still in work were given a lot of time off to sell apples on the street in order to make ends meet. joe was not paid to any attention to the flight of america he decided he wanted to make his third fortune and also get involved in politics what better way to become friendly with elliott roosevelt the oldest son franklin and in the 1932 campaign elliott was in charge of trying to read his father's campaign in massachusetts and boston. while also setting up an insurance business. joe befriended him and called himself his foster father before prohibition is actually rescinded joe takes elliott to europe and lots of other people trying to bargain for the rights
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to import whiskey to america, when you come with a man who everybody thinks is the future president son you're gonna win out and there's no contest, he won out so before prohibition had been re-ascended after the election joe had already bagged his fortune. what joe really wanted and they had to know people working for him and he wanted to become secretary of the treasury. andy worked hard to help earn his money from contributions and joe kennedy would run the treasury the way he wants to remount was his choice and stayed his choice. joe had to settle to become the first chairman of the security
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exchange commission, he did a reasonable job with all the documentation and it was written by others and joe ended up trying to befriend them in the one working with joe is the man called james landis who is one of the reuters of kennedy unpublished memoir, he finally made the cover of "time" magazine which means for joe that is great success, and our 1935 he's been in the job from 1933 until 1935 and it is time to retire and he said i need to retire for personal reasons i have to go to europe and roosevelt says do me a favor could you find out when the gonna repay our war debt because it would help us go around from depression into recovery in
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berlin and doesn't meet anybody important and hitler refuses to meet him he goes to rome and has contact with the vatican but muzzling refuses to meet with them goes to paris and he really doesn't want joe and his patch so it's only london when he meets with american investor and introduces him to the work people including neville chamberlain who at the time is the transport checker and introduces into banker and loads of other people and he gets the idea since 1935, october 1935, i would like to be ambassador of britain and i think i can help my children set up an international experience but anyway 1935 there's gonna be a
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36 election again to reelect roosevelt so joe goes to work if i don't pretend i'm certain of the treasury maybe i'll become ambassador so he writes a pamphlet over the winter called on for roosevelt which is aimed at primarily one thing that roosevelt had trouble with was america they hated him, they thought he had communistic contingencies and there is rumors that were being spread against roosevelt, the other person that kennedy gets involved someone is pivotal because he spent his entire year and he was effectively the translator for the pope as well his picture was his entourage to the right of the screen and joe
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kennedy is to the left, he wants to come to america, joe wanted to meet with the president because he wants to book a closer relationship, it is a dream of his and essentially what happened until such time that he is reelected between joe and the others but fortunately roosevelt one and pacelli went to see him the day after the election and the gentleman on the left, his name is enrico and he is the vatican of architect and he's also architect of the vatican. the thing that joe didn't understand about the vatican
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position is since 1929 when he did his deal with ms. illini the vatican had agreed with politics and they give up the states in italy they created the vatican city and today is a vatican he then did a number throughout europe including germany so he can protect the catholics within that and more money for the catholic church. joe joe did not understand this pre-1926 election i thought you should see the time when america was all blue almost. joe fails to get ambassador because he still in his position even if he's not a wild man and instead given the lonely position of the first chairman of the maritime commission why
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there's 400 coastal contracts that were gouging the government and fraudulent andy had 73 days to get them out need to do in the 73 days. but at the same time politics and protesters said i'm going to end up buying newspapers which were up for sale 50 cents on the dollar joe about the pretense on the dollar, that story, it is a true story. it's good to be ambassador of nothing. and he has this picture of the family this is the porges that is going to center ambassador this is what he set his heart on and what he wants to give to the
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family and the social register in the kennedys were no longer be arounds, he wanted make the name as adams in boston. >> 's son joe junior was going to be graduating in harvard in 1938 joe was studying government and he had made special area of interest and at that time most important it was because that was the war in which church had taken a side difranco as opposed to the loyalist which was socialist and communist. one thing i have to say joe and joe junior underworld of communism. jack in the meantime has just started his first year at
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harvard he's only two years younger than joe junior but he was a sickly child going 1947 the family discovered he suffered from addison's disease. but at this time nobody had any idea what was wrong with him and he became a very interesting case, he goes to europe that summer with his good friend billy and that's available for jfk library online and it really does make very interesting reading because you have joe junior writing to his father and expounding everything that he says that my father says that my father believes in jack has read so much he's definitely the reader of the family he is trying to understand what's happening between communist and fascism particular in europe and how that's going to affect
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america. he was definitely very clearheaded internationalist thinker. how is joe going to achieve this, he's been buddies with a lot of the press a lot of the time and he's coming back to john hopkins hospital for floor surgery because nobody's been able to figure out what's wrong with him, he is very ill and he hears that he's going to retire so joe asks the washington chief of the new york times to help them get the word out, he's the best man for this job and retiring by the end of the job instead, i have to say at this point he claims in his memoir he never received any financial benefit from joe kennedy, that's only if you don't count the $25000 a year he got that that
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europe and palm beach. i also need to say i don't think near times is aware of that relationship. these are three men that are going to make kennedy great. joe junior russia and now europe and he's been around europe and he's also a dear friend trying to promote them into politics. joe finally gets nominated because their leaking the fact and that he should become the ambassador sorry i missed it he's warning in february 1940 in the news took place december 9,
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1937, why there is a delay and i ask about in the book it is still somewhat of a mystery there's a number of different reasons why this could've happened, you have to read the book, he comes to london on march the first and this is the picture of joe on march 8, 1938, he's going into get his credentials in the gentleman second from the left on the uniform is an american in these colonel raymond who did not get along with joe he was his military attaché and in his book he said already by this time he said it was on his own verbosity. that's probably the most true statement anybody has ever said about joe, it was constant shooting his mouth off without realizing that the messages got
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back to people and by the time he was elected ambassador all the terrible things he said about him into england because he was less of a danger then in washington because joe was an isolationist and he did not believe america should have any international obligations other than earn money. in the third person was a week later randolph churchill and randolph and winston churchill took joe out for lunch and how britain didn't know what it was doing and it should not be hurtling itself towards war and randolph is a journalist and winston stood up and turned purple in lecture joe for ten minutes and walked out, randolph talked about credentials in the
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public system by saying he only stood out because they only were treasures and there's a big thing in the american press of him wearing short breaches and how we can do that because joe kennedy was so bowlegged they would block. so now joe is ambassador and given his credentials to the king, the king is actionable and he has the duty to court joe as well as joe going around to the other ambassadors and he reports back on the ninth and tenth of march with all the other ambassadors are saying about the european situation. and to these two gentlemen. the first on top is the secretary of state, the longest-serving secretary of state in american history and he's the assistant secretary and
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within days of this eventually on the 15th of march joe does an unpardonable thing in a telephone call that i am the european expert, you just shut up you don't know what's going on here and therefore within 15 days of his rival he was angry. why did he think that, his good friend enrico who is a committed session was the one advising him, joe junior was also but he was also listening to this. in a matter of fact kennedy is done on the 1 dollar a year salary against the wishes and the state department and the reason why they didn't want to
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hire him because he is utterly inexperienced. however, joe met nabel chamberlain who is prime minister and neville hadiece of the wonder in joe started to sing his praises to the state department and he was angrier and he personally liked and enjoyed talking to and he thought edward who is a replacement in secretary of state with the foreign minister thought that he was a bit too protestant for his liking which is true.
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first when we met him we was not surprised that he was swearing like a trooper and acting terribly and he wrote that to the british >> who was the ambassador and is now a foreign ministerto germany . so von ribbentrop is in london to present the new german ambassador to britain. herbert von dirksen. you take one look at the sky and you say what'sgoing to happen next ? he had been in poland in the 1920s and was called the terror of: and he was moved to tokyo and was responsible for bringing japan closer to the axis powers. now he's in england and he's under strict orders from ribbentrop to befriend kennedy and by june they have two separate meetings in which kennedy's loose lips,
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he's drunk on his own verbosity and he's betraying american policy. the day after this meeting is the anschluss. kennedy writes in his diary i'm very disappointed lord halifax didn't come to me to oxford. it seems he tied up on more importantinternational business . that's his only remark about the on shoeless, the annexation of austria into germany. he thinks that benjamin has hitler under control but he also thinks that all he has to do is meet with hitler and you'll be in to solve all problems because he's a great businessman he thinks he can handlediplomacy and politics and as i see in the book the sad thing is he didn't have a diplomatic bone in his body . winston churchill is against him but most of the british establishment is
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still following our dear friendmister chamberlain . in april 1938 he and rose are invited to the capital and now rose is getting drunk on british high society and all the wonderful things they're doing and he sees how happy this is making roads. he knows they're going to be in the social register back home and he's made it impossible for american debutantes to come to england to be presented at courts unless they have a clear established relationship with britain . rose and he become friendly with the duke of campion and his royal brother and rose presents her two oldest daughters rosemary on the right and kathleen on the left hein may 1938. at court. and it's interesting when i quote from rose's diary when she talks about this she doesn't talk about how the girls, only about how she did
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. i'm sorry i'm skipping. and one of the things joe did he did in april is he asked the picture below with her husband waldorf to see if he could actually introduce his daughter kate to some nice english people her own age and take kate attended a weekend party at clifton which is now a hotel and brookshire. there she met gino and became her best friend in england and also about two weeks later june's cousin billy partington. now billy was the heir to the duke of devon shire literally was a tremendous love affair. meanwhile halifax is worried of easements isn't working so he and churchill that same spring to work
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together on other economic means of trying to outwit germany. kennedy is completely ma oblivious about that he's giving his voice international experience and putting himself in position to maybe go for the vice presidency in 1940, maybe even presidency. and this lady who should be well known to all of you is clare booth luce, in may 1938 she and henry came to the embassy in london and shortly afterwards she began an affair with joe. interestingly because of he was a staunch republicanshe became one of his greatest advisors . shows she tells joe he can't keep staying in london. that's not going to get you folks back home. what you've got to do is get yourself press and go home to some great press asap.
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go home every three months so people don't forget what you look like and he took her at her word but the only problem is next time he was going to go home in june for joe junior's graduation from harvard and of course arthur was very happy to get some good press which made roosevelt angry. i mean, really angry. he refused to see him so he so angry that joe starts to go early to the graduation but then discovers harvard university is goingusto refuse to give him an honorary doctorate . instead they chose 14 other people including walt disney and it was walt disney that got joeupset . he comes back to europe, one of the reasons why he had been chosen in terms of roosevelt was that he was a good businessman and was a major trade agreement that was being negotiated with america at the time and they felt joe was as a businessman couldn't negotiate this but by the end of june beginning of july joe is spending time trying to arrange for the
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family instead and he's lying back to the state department that everybody's disappearing at the end of july but the state department already knew that he and his men could go till the end of july and everybody else britain was staying on because there was something very wrong in europe and they thought that hitler was going to move again. instead the reason why you want to go to there is to prevent billy partington to marry him. it's going to be his 21st birthday and joe feared he would ask her and she accept. the last thing he wanted was his good catholic daughter to marry a protestant particularly as peter the great of grace was madly in love with her as well. but he only loved billy. the picture below is jack with his sister at his picture at the whole family and in front of their little
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cabana at the beach. and joe again i have him here with his mouth open because while he was there was shooting his mouth off about how he was useless, how some of the royals were useless. how cordell was useless. how the whole state department if it were in his hands he could fix or they didn't think it was s broken of course. his next-door neighbors as the duke and duchess of windsor heard about it and actually edward was so perturbed about that he let the royal familyknow back in england that there's a problem with joe . joe meanwhile meets another neighbor whose an eccentric and they begin an affair. this is marlena with her daughter maria riva and if you ever want to see, read something that's absolutely riveting it's maria's biography of her mother. and her remarks about the kennedy children, their absolutely delicious.
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so joe's having his affair with marlena dietrich. he's still there when the check prices start. comes back very belatedly via paris and orange in on a meeting of the other american ambassadors to britain. and discovers this is actually something quite important. i better get back to london and tell stricklandwhat to do . he portrays to the state department as the only man who can save the world from disaster. he's the only man that can bring peace and this is i'm just going through something that joe repeats at nausea and gets the state department and the president angrier and angrier because of course berlin had refused roosevelt overtures for peace in january 1938 so they knew that they were dealing with a very difficult man who was probablyanti-american .
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chamberlain comes back after munich at the end of september waving his piece of paper claiming peace for our time and halifax parts is broken. he has shivers when he hears what chamberlain says because he knows that appeasement is dead that britain absolutely must rearm. but of course itdoesn't . it's this is a local newspaper which actually says it all. hitler is just running roughshod over everybody. two months after munich we have kristallnacht which was an excuse and nothing else for looting and pillaging and killing jews. joe decided maybe it's this jewish think might be of interest to me i want to run for office in america, might be able to to get the jewish vote and he thinks about putting together thing he called the kennedy plan . this is one of the 900 synagogues was destroyed on
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the zoloft . joe goes back to america for a prolonged holiday. christmas holiday. it is between 38 and 39 he's gone for two months. this has been a thing of his because he goes back for two months at christmas and meanwhile the exodus of jews from german occupied territories and actually eastern europe begins so joe writes and it's in, is here but joe writes something called the kennedy plan which is effectively stolen from other work written by other people who were actually working under the london embassy. he comes back in the middle of february and immediately asks if he can be the envoy to rome because of pious dies and his good friend eugenia pacelli and riva is now pope
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pius xii. henrico valley it says sure you androse can, except he comes with all his children . thenannies , his father, a fewother people . and there's i write about exactly what happens joe doesn't understand is to seek a people coordination is quite amazing then to take all these other seats is terrible and i have a quote by pope john paul. it's in my book again so you have to read it to get tothat . while he's in rome again he's in the wrong place at the wrong time . hitler decides to take the rest of czechoslovakia. and he marches in. meanwhile, rose goes back to london. and is again presented at court with eunice this time. so that she can come out and bring grand style and that you're the biggest party happened to have been london palace which is pictured
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below and is a worldheritage site . the following month, the kenyan king and queen meet with the roosevelt at hyde park. joe ttries to claim loudly that he's the one that had organized this it's actually been in the adoffing since 193 . when george the sixth became king. roosevelt had a special envoy to the coronation to ask him to please come to america and it's at this point roosevelt warned thinking that if he wants to know about american foreign policy should be asking kennedy. joe is now desperate. he believes there's going to be a war but that he's got to talk people out of going. but just like hitler hasn't said e'he'll be fine so technically what happens is the asks charles lindbergh to please write, a report about
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how futile it's going to be to go to war against germany and this report circulates throughout the american embassy and state department and of course it gives the president and heads up as to what lindbergh is going to be doing if war comes and he comes back to america. and certainly he became the spokesman for the america first committee. his father was make america great again and as you can see he and roosevelt were not on good august 1939. the thing that churchill had feared the most happens. the molotov pact happens and that guarantees a war because of course germany is now going to have to go and fight the soviets tobegin with . and within days, actually i think it's seven days written is forced to declare war on germany when germany invades
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poland. and the american state department, their working together either through the tm british ambassador in america or other people. roosevelt is now in touch directly with churchill and everything that he's hearing from kennedy is very different from everything he's hearing from so joe decides in late november 1939 i'm going away but he actually it's the only medical document ever of any of the kennedy's on file the kennedy library. he has his doctor write to roosevelt being his gastrointestinal tract needs him to stay in palm beach.
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chamberlain asks for him to come back in march and it's only when he learns that in march 1940 that sumner welles is going to be going around europe that joe needs palm beach and comes back into britain. and here is a picture of joe chaperoning sumner welles with chamberlain and halifax. as a matter of fact the king's diary states how upset he was that joe wouldn't let him meet privately with sumner welles.there was as you know a long period called the phony war where between september 1939 and april 1940 nothing at all was having. germany invaded norway april 1940. the british were soundly defeated. and this is really the end of the soviet war. within three weeks, churchill is asked to form a government
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but became even though chamberlain had won the vote in parliament it's was by such a slim margin everybody knew that britain was possibly going to perish because it hadn't rearm adequately now that churchill had been talking about this since 1933. he was the only man that could possibly save the country . i should say that joe is also the only man did not congratulate him on becoming prime minister. there were four different doctrines i came across and finally it was noted that joe made a telephone call to congratulate churchill. within six months of churchill becoming prime minister, what was moved to become the british ambassador to america on the retirements of the lindsay who was the previous ambassador. not so much because they didn't get on but mostly because he felt that would be
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an honest broker forhim in america . and he was. and actually, his sons had befriended kate in england and in one of them came to america it was kit who helped him through his problems. he lost both legs in the african campaign and he was absolutely wonderful to him and would help him get back to europe so that she could marry ellie partington in 1943. in the summer of 1940, obviously the blitz begins. people were taking shelter wherethey could . joe kennedy was taught you cannot come back to america. you have to stay in england and you have to help as much as you can. he never went to see the bombed out areas. this is as close as joe kennedy came to a bomb. he told everybody that he was actually bombed out at the
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american ambassador's residence in the west and what there are bombs on the internet you can see where the bombs actually fell and they were absolutely no bombs so he became known as jittery joe at the time. he had left london. he didn't go to see any of the bombed out areas didn't inquire of the king and queen when buckingham palace said go home. he was pvery very scared man. but the one man who wasn't scared wasjack . this is a picture of joe winston churchill as he is leaving england in october 1940. he was recently had a t with the king of england and the queen and he upset them so much that the king wrote him a letter about how wrong he is about britain and how wrong he is about the need to
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fight. and they doput that in the book . his good friend neville chamberlain who had remained a part of the dies. about two weeks after. and as he's leaving he reads these constant things from churchill, these wonderful inspiring words. and he hates and evermore. comes back to the states and november on player booth listens guidance. he's going to declare for wilkie. he blackmails actually roosevelt into coming back to america that's something i don't want to go into in the chat but it's a fascinating portrait of what happens to a person who doesn't realize that they should keep their own counsel. he lobbies for no war. he lobbies against britain. he italks against britain and
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he is really hated by the british as much as he is by the statedepartment but in america nobody knows really what's been going on . and whenjapan bombed pearl harbor , he decides i guess i better go to war. and he you know, since roosevelt cables saying i'm yours to command, just name the place but of course he never hears back. the ambassadorship to great britain time when there was still a british mpempire that means greatbritain is very important . was the highest office he would ever achieve until his dying day you wanted to be le called mister ambassador. his sons however were braver. jack is as we all know had the pt 109 experience but there is another experience which is first diplomatic experience.
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i read about it in the book. the very first casualties, civilian casualties of the war and american civil casualties of the war took place september 4, 1938 and it was jack, not his father who handled it with the survivors. he was brilliant. joe junior was the naval pilot. he was apparently a very mediocre pilot and had there not been a war he probably would have been the main pilot of an aircraft that he had volunteered to be the first drone pilot because he didn't want jack to be a greater hero and he and jack had obviously already been decorated for the pt 109 incident and saving hiscruise life's . and that's why he volunteered because of the competition to them. so he, there was a failure of an ambassador but this man's greatest legacy was his children. who absolutely adore him.
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he did everything to for them. and according to jack when he was president, joe kennedy made everythingpossible . thank you. >> thank you susan, that was fascinating. i'm trying to get out of the screen share. >> close chair, could i do that? let's see if i can getmyself back on instead . number i'm trying to get back on because i want people to ask questions. i don't want to resume share. i don't want a new share. what should i do? it's not helping. >> powerpoint. there we go. excellent. well done.
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we do have some questions in the chat if you are willing to share. one, one question is how does joe maintain his reputation today in the united states and why is this information about his ambassador not more well-known. >> that's the main question i asked myself when i was reading all the kennedy biographies. why hasn't anybody written about his time in england? i just couldn't get it. the closest anybody came to writing about it is well swift in his kennedys and the gathering storm. which is a very nice book about the kennedy family in britain at the time. but not about the political and diplomatic dilemma that was going on. and so i like writing about
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people who are reasonably well known if i can but little-known stories about them so i decided i was going to take the two years and concentrate on that. i think that's the main reason why nobody knows because with all of the kennedy biographies around, nobody was interested enough to write about it. i think also perhaps even well swift did not come to england to do research. he had a researcher here but c he personally didn't come to do it. and when neville wrote his big biography on kennedy he did will swiss research. that means they go to the church churchill archive personally.they didn't see when still winston churchill reveling inhis own hand . dythey didn't see the note, the
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researcher missed the note. thank goodness we won't have to hear kennedys papers any longer when we're in the house of commons. these are all things that i believe in doing research so i found these, yes. but nobody, nobody had been to the royal archive before me. and it's a bit of a thing to get into the royal archive. anybody who is accredited with a publisher can do it but it takes a long time for it to happen so i think nobody else has written about what king george thought about him that's why the book is important. >> thank you. another question is about joe's relationship to jack and how did he help him even though there lives were so different?
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>> i think it's easier to answer the second one in the first one. i went to the first one as well but the second one first. when joe junior died, jack was still in the hospital after pt 109 and hurt his brother was dead and he apparently sighed and said dear lord, now it's down to me. because jack actually wanted to be a writer. he startedout as a journalist . so he knew he had no choice. he had to take his brother's place. i don't know that he would have had a choice even if joe junior had died because i think that joe senior was held and on creating a dynasty. in his mind better than adams family had done. so that's that was the main instance, impetus for jack going into politics.
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alan joe helped is their relationship, he was always his father's sons. they thought that was normal because that's the way they grew up. they also thought it was normal for the mother to be absent from the home or 300 days a year . that was forose's way of coping with joe being a serial womanizer. a very difficult situation and really follow the family but because there were so many children usthey got straight from each other. they did club together joe as rose made sure that was part of their upbringing. so the, he gave them a sense of togetherness. he was always called dad by the boys and daddy by thewn girls . rose was always called mother . she was a distant figure. jack never analyzed why she
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was a distant figure. he claimed that because she had too many children. i think that was a convenient way of his looking at it. he adored his father and joe adored his son. but what was jack's strength was he never ever contradictedhis father directly . he never send your wrong dad or i think you've got to do this. he found a very diplomatic way of speaking to him and joe ended up respecting him for his different views but the main thing joe did, he financed the 1960 campaign. that was the thing and there's a book coming out by curling gilman i think in january about the 1960 campaign.ry but joe helped by staying in
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the background because it was already known that he was a fascist sympathizer. certainly in political circles and it was already known he was a sympathizer and that was certainly not going to help jack win any elections. i should say that roosevelt also called him a fascist sympathizer. >> one of his gifts to his son was natchez. >>. >> did he have irish sympathies that compromised his supportfor the english ? >> i think i believe he did but he hit them very well. one of the ambassadors who did cozy up to him early on was the irish ambassador. and he managed to wrangle an honorary doctorate at trinity college. in dublin so he was very pro-ireland, his irish roots
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but he didn't speak out as an ambassador of being full ireland. and he was a it was a difficult time for the british in terms of accepting the irish free state and also having northern ireland as still part of the united kingdom . so i think he understood to a certain extent their sensibilities. most of the british, there were loads and loads of things in the foreign archives but when they were analyzing joe he didn't feel that he was anti-british so much as pro-irish. and which is interesting considering all the terrible things said about britain fighting hitler. >> is there anything to the stories that he was a bootlegger ? >> probably. certainly he had imported booze to america before prohibition was over.
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and he had embroiled the president's son in that. but i have heard from friends in boston that it is definitely what happened but what i read, i didn't fit the idea that he was connected to our component. nobody's proving it. again us government through phone was doing what he was doing so they had to get him on tax. these are a couple of very smart cookies. i can't believe that joe wasn't involved but i have no proof that he was . there's a lot of hearsay. >> tell us about what you're currently reading at what's a book you recommend for our citizens today . >> i just finished where the crawdads sing a few days ago. anyway, her use of language
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is such a phenomenal book. before that, i read just a couple of books a week. believe it or not i was reading peter ustinov's autobiography. and the reason for that is peter's father appears in my next book. and so it was just absolutely amazing. very very funny. it's called dear me.le and i thought that was wonderful. i don't know if anybody is a big pds watcher there the book before that was called silk house by anthony horwitz . horwitz is the creator of fourscore which i think is on pbs america. and he's also done other things like he's very big british name. and so i'm currently reading is what's it called?
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murderous magpies. maritime murderers. then i'm also reading at the same time of course two books for pleasure. the dictators used by nigel ferndale and it's about lenny riefenstahl. and it makes me laugh because the bits that are real are great fun but the bits that are invented like lenny was close friends with oswald mosley are not true. and those things make me laugh but it is very well written. so. >> thank you. i'm so grateful to you for all you have done today and it's fascinating and i know people were looking forward to reading your book.i want to also thank the illustrated books where they can purchase
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your book and to everyone who attended today , this is recorded and will be available on the library teaching channel so i believe earlier we like to pick it up, we can do that. it will be ready tomorrow. our next author series will take place november 30. this will be an in person is with the kia harris, author of black girls and will take place at the ferguson library . so our great thanks to all of you and have a wonderful day. thanks again susan . >> take care now, goodbye. >> c-span offers a variety of podcasts. washington today gives you the latest from the nations capital and book notes plus has in-depth interviews with
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