TALK: The Origin and Promise of Camelot: Rose Kennedy

Barbara Perry, PhD, a Kennedy family biographer and political scientist, will discuss her recent national best-seller, "Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch." Book signing to follow Perry's remarks.
When Nov 20, 2013
from 06:00 PM to 07:30 PM
Where Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville
Contact Name
Contact Phone 502-852-8811
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In this McConnell Center lecture, presidential historian and Louisville-native Barbara Perry, PhD, will explore the origin and creation of the Kennedy image. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

In Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch, Perry captures Rose Kennedy’s contributions to the Kennedy dynasty. This biography—the first to draw on an invaluable cache of Rose’s newly released diaries and letters—unearths the complexities behind the impeccable persona she showed the world. The woman who emerges in the book is savvy about her family’s reputation and resilient enough to persevere through the unfathomable tragedies that befell her.

For instance, during her husband's diplomatic career, Rose began carefully calibrating her family’s image, stage-managing photo shoots and interviews of her nine children and herself. She even took to the campaign trail for son Jack. Kennedy's perfectionism ultimately created a family portrait that resonated in modern politics and media. But Perry's account looks past the fanfare, poignantly revealing the matriarch’s vulnerability and refuge in prayer, habitual shopping, travel, and medication.

Perry's book will be available for purchase at a discounted price at the event. The author will sign books following the lecture.

This discussion marks the last of four events in the McConnell Center's 2013 "Milestones of the 20th Century: Democracy in America" public lecture series.

About the Lecturer

Barbara Perry, PhD, a well-known authority on the Kennedy family, is a Senior Fellow in the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. She is also a fellow at the McConnell Center. As part of her extensive research on the American presidency, she interviews prominent members of previous administrations. She is the author of Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier, among other works, and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Event Location

The event will be held in Chao Auditorium, located on the lower level of the University of Louisville's Ekstrom Library (link includes parking information).

About the McConnell Center

The non-partisan McConnell Center offers this event to the public free of charge. The Center's public lecture series was established to assist Kentucky citizens develop a better understanding of the American Constitution and American history and to encourage open and free discussion of perennial concerns that inform contemporary politics.