Today the Kennedys are one of America's foremost political dynasties, synonymous with wealth and privilege. But as Neal Thompson reveals here, their rise was an unlikely one, begun by an Irish refugee couple who created a life together in a city hostile to Irish, immigrants, and Catholics. This family history is above all the story of Bridget Kennedy, widowed at 34 and determined to raise their children single-handedly. Ambitious and self-sacrificing, Bridget's efforts enabled her only son P.J. to become a successful saloon owner, and later, the first American Kennedy elected to public office.
"Here is that rare thing: an untold chapter in the Kennedy saga…. Compelling and illuminating."—Jon Meacham