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Kate Clifford Larson

Autor(a) de Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

5 Works 1,247 Membros 58 Críticas

About the Author

Kate Clifford Larson is a historian and Harriet Tubman scholar. She is the author of Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero, The Assassin's Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln, and Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter. She has been a mostrar mais consultant and interpretive specialist for numerous museum and public history initiatives. Her focus is on the lives and contributions of women in the building of America. mostrar menos

Obras por Kate Clifford Larson


Conhecimento Comum



Everyone has heard of Harriet Tubman. Everyone was taught in grade school about the fearless female "Moses" who rescued her people from slavery and who famously "never lost a passenger" on the Underground Rail Road. After grade school though Tubman is largely omitted from text books and class discussion save for a few meager sentences to remind you of the platitudes you were taught in first grade history, indeed, finding a scholarly work on Tubman's life at all is a tricky prospect and most searches online or through library databases will yield mainly children's books.

The result of this glaring and galling omission is that most people, myself included, tend to have a very feeble grasp on the true measure of Harriet's courage, skill, historical importance, and impact.

Everyone knows she escaped slavery only to return to the south multiple times to save others. Most don't know she returned time and again to the same area she escaped from, sometimes the very same plantation she had fled, each new mission growing increasingly, almost unbearably dangerous as the slave owners of Dorchester county Maryland, doubled, then trebled their guard in the face of the ever rising number of successful runaways from their small county.

Everyone knows Harriet was a conductor on the famed Underground Rail Road, and most even know of her impressive track record of never losing even a single passenger. But far too few people know Harriet was also a valuable asset to the Union army during the civil war, or that she personally orchestrated and led an immensely successful military raid into Confederate territory that resulted in the saving of some seven hundred people and almost no Union casualties.

And finally, everyone knows Harriet Tubman was a hero who acted on her convictions and helped enslaved people escape to freedom. But almost no one knows the true tragedy of this brave woman's life. The fact that she spent her whole life helping her family and anyone else in need yet died in dire financial straits due in no small part to being denied a salary and pension from the U.S. Army for years after her invaluable service. The fact that she served her country with the highest distinction during the horrors of the Civil War yet was forcibly and violently thrown out of a whites only railway car years later, resulting in a broken arm while fellow passengers simply jeered or yelled for her to be thrown off the train entirely. The final and perhaps greatest indignity would come only after her death. Following the Civil War Tubman's legacy and memory was passed over as too controversial and too upsetting, the figure of a former slave freeing others from the heinous institution of bondage didn't mesh well with the spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and historical white washing that pervaded the country. The result of this glossing over are apparent even today, as I mentioned earlier this remarkable and unique historical figure still struggles to get full attention from authors, historians, and the public; the dearth of adult materials on Tubman's life and exploits is truly saddening.

To sum up, this biography is an excellent resource as well as a captivating read (although credit is due in no small part to the remarkable and fascinating nature of Harriet's life itself). The author understands the importance of Tubman as a largely forgotten historical figure and this perspective informs her writing in a crucial way. Do yourself a favor and read this book about one of America's truly great heroes, not another general who happened to be present at a critical battle or another president whose marble facade doesn't hold up well under historical scrutiny, but a truly brave a selfless hero who risked everything for her family and country even when no reward or even recognition was forthcoming.
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Autolycus21 | 6 outras críticas | Oct 10, 2023 |
Book on CD narrated by Bernadette Dunn

Subtitle: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

After two healthy boys, Rose and Joseph P Kennedy had a baby girl, whom they named Rosemary. She was apparently healthy and robust, but as she grew to toddler age, it was clear that her development lagged behind her siblings. Soon her younger sisters, Kathleen and Eunice, surpassed Rosemary’s capabilities, both physically and mentally.

Larson does a fine job of detailing Rosemary’s life, and that of the Kennedy family. Their ups, downs, successes and tragedies have been chronicled frequently, but little has been known about Rosemary.

The Kennedy’s did all they (and their money) could in order to provide sheltered educational opportunities for Rosemary, but as she grew up her behavioral issues exacerbated. When she was in her early twenties, Joe decided the best treatment was a newly touted operation – a frontal lobotomy. His expectation was that Rosemary’s emotional outbursts would stop, leaving her more docile and obedient. Unfortunately, the operation went awry, and Rosemary was left with severe mobility issues as well as extremely limited intellectual capacity. Joe eventually placed his oldest daughter at St Colletta’s School in Jefferson, Wisconsin, where she lived out her life in a private cottage, with two full-time caregivers.

Intent on building a political dynasty, Joe and Rose Kennedy insisted on keeping their oldest daughter’s condition a secret from all but a few close friends. Even Rosemary’s younger siblings knew little about her. Rose didn’t see her daughter for decades. Only Rosemary’s sister Eunice visited with any regularity. And Eunice, along with her children, worked to form several charities to care for and support those with mental, intellectual and mobility disabilities.

Bernadette Dunn does a fine job of narrating the audiobook. She has clear diction and sets a good pace.
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BookConcierge | 39 outras críticas | Aug 31, 2023 |
While you may know that President John F. Kennedy was one of nine children in a wealthy, ambitious, East Coast family, you likely haven't heard much about his sister, Rosemary, whom the family kept hidden away for most of her life. Due a congenital abnormality, or possibly her rather traumatic birth, Rosemary was mentally disabled and struggled from her earliest childhood to keep up with her siblings in their physical and intellectual endeavors, and the family went to great lengths to keep this knowledge secret.

Rosemary's story is tragic and highly disturbing. I had a visceral reaction to the imagery of a nurse spending two hours pushing Rosemary's tiny infant head back into her mother's womb, merely because a doctor had not yet arrived. The irony of Rosemary being lobotomized due to her perceived as a threat to family's political ambitions, while her mental and physical state following the procedure proved to be even more unacceptable, is really heartbreaking. Sadly, Rosemary wasn't the only child who suffered from having Joe and Rose Kennedy for parents: much of what all of the children experienced from their parents we would today consider emotional abuse. I kind of feel pity for them all.
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ryner | 39 outras críticas | Aug 14, 2023 |
# Rosemary
1. Be united in the home and outside it. It does no good to be disrespectful and rude to your spouse. What I learned from my parents marriage is that time May go on but miscommunication, ignoring, silent treatment and hurt do not make a happy one. Treating each other with respect, love,and a firm commitment to each other through being faithful in word, in thought, and in action. Never let the children split you up. Never let your disagreements as a couple be known outside the home and especially amongst your children or they will use it to separate you. Be open with your children yet honest in your relationship through keeping the lines of communication open in all areas feasible so that it is easier for others to ascertain where you are coming from.
2. Don’t control your children. Give them parameters to follow but otherwise let them be free.
3. Treat people with disabilities with honor and respect and learn from them. Never look down upon them or be rude. Always show kindness and care towards them and those around them.
4. Just because someone or a relative has a disabled family member does not mean that you should treat such person as disabled. They are a human being with feelings and emotions and thoughts of their own. Treat them as a valued member of society.

Biggest Takeaway

Treat your siblings right even those who are I’ll. Remember family first, family always. Reach out to your siblings and check on them. You are the cornerstone to healing the relationship between them and your parents. Keep working at it and it will bear fruit! Believe that.

What I Learned

What the Kennedy’s did to their daughter Rosemary by lobotomizing her was wrong. I think she should have been given the chance to go to a community where they knew how to care for disabled people through integrating them into society instead of leaviNg them in an institution. I liked how her siblings reached out and cared and made sure she was okay.

Quote in Summary

“Love those with differences from your own. You never know what blessings that individual has in store for you.”
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Kaianna.Isaure | 39 outras críticas | Jul 11, 2023 |



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