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Joseph P. Kennedy’s reputation as a savvy businessman, diplomat, and sly political patriarch is well-documented. But his years as a Hollywood mogul have never been fully explored until now.
In Joseph P. Kennedy Presents, Cari Beauchamp brilliantly explores this unknown chapter in Kennedy’s biography. Between 1926 and 1930, Kennedy positioned himself as a major Hollywood player. In two short years, he was running three studios simultaneously and then, in a bold move, he merged his studios with David Sarnoff to form the legendary RKO Studio. Beauchamp also tells the story of Kennedy’s affair with Gloria Swanson; how he masterminded the mergers that created the blueprint for contemporary Hollywood; and made the fortune that became the foundation of his empire.
“Smart. . . . Beauchamp suggests that nothing in Kennedy’s long career of banking, stock manipulation, and New Dealing prepared him for presidential politics the way his time in the picture business did.” —New York Times Book Review
“Beauchamp serves up with gusto many measures of gossipy history and historical gossip. . . . One hell of a story.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Fascinating. . . . The intellect, the intuition, the gumption, the gall, the vision, and the restless ambition of the founding father are meticulously documented.” —The Boston Globe
“Cari Beauchamp deserves great credit for bringing Joseph P. Kennedy into sharp focus with a wealth of detail. . . . Beauchamp has succeeded not only in finding a new way of telling the story, but one which adds to it much we didn’t know before. ” —Michael Korda, The Daily Beast
“[A] crackling page-turner. . . . Beauchamp demonstrates again and again, that apart from [Kennedy’s] abiding love and concern for his nine children (and perhaps a few others including Marion Davies), the bottom line was everything.” —Los Angeles Times
“Rarely has [Kennedy’s Hollywood years] been documented in such meticulous detail. . . . Well-written and researched, Beauchamp’s book is a probing examination of the man in the industry during perhaps its most fascinating period.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Beauchamp’s research is phenomenal and would have daunted any other author. . . . A masterpiece of backstage capitalism.” —Cineaste
“Cari Beauchamp has dug deep into my mother’s files and records and emerged to finally tell the true story of Gloria Swanson’s relationship with Joe Kennedy. No one else has ever been as honest or as thorough.”
—Michelle Farmer Amon, daughter of Gloria Swanson