Ask Not by Maureen Callahan, Paperback, 9780008473259 | Buy online at The Nile
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Ask Not

The Kennedys and the Women They Destroyed

Author: Maureen Callahan  

From New York Times bestseller Maureen Callahan, a fierce, character-driven exposé of the real Kennedy Curse—the family's generations-long legacy of misogyny, murder, and mayhem—and the women who have paid the price for our obsession with Camelot.

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Summary

From New York Times bestseller Maureen Callahan, a fierce, character-driven exposé of the real Kennedy Curse—the family's generations-long legacy of misogyny, murder, and mayhem—and the women who have paid the price for our obsession with Camelot.

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Description

For decades, the Kennedy name has been synonymous with wealth, power, and—above all else—integrity. But this carefully constructed veneer hides a dark truth: the Kennedy men's legacy of physical and psychological abuse of women, part of a tradition of toxic masculinity that spans generations and has ruined untold lives. Through scandal after scandal, the family and their defenders have managed to keep this shameful story out of the spotlight. Now, in Ask Not, bestselling journalist Maureen Callahan reveals the Kennedys' hidden history of abuse and exploitation, laying bare their rampant misogyny and restoring women to the center of the dynasty's story: from Jacqueline Onassis and Marilyn Monroe to Carolyn Bessette, Mary Richardson, Rosemary Kennedy, and many others whose names aren't nearly as well known – but rightfully should be.

Drawing on years of fierce reportage and written in electric prose, Ask Not is a long-overdue reckoning with this fabled American family, showing how the Kennedy myth and their raw political power has enabled the clan's many predators while also silencing generations of traumatized women and girls. At long last, Callahan also redirects the spotlight to the women in the Kennedys' orbit, paying homage to those who freed themselves—and giving voice to the countless others who could not do the same.

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Critic Reviews

‘If you're after non-fiction that reads like a propulsive political thriller, this is the book for you in July. Bestselling author and journalist Maureen Callahan returns to our shelves with a searing exposé that explores the tumultuous relationships within the Kennedy family. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Callahan unravels the complexities of this renowned family and the trails of women left behind. The book confronts the darker truths of power and privilege, offering a sobering reflection on the consequences of unchecked political influence. Ask Not is a gripping and poignant exploration of a pivotal era in American history and the individuals caught in its whirlwind.’ Glamour

‘A long history of ‘misogyny, murder and mayhem’ is revealed in this scandal-filled new book by the Mail’s own Maureen Callahan, who puts the darker underbelly of the Kennedy Clan – the closest thing America has to a royal family – on display, examining their treatment of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette.’ – Mail on Sunday

‘A timely reminder of the dangers posed by men who crave power’ – Peter Conrad, Guardian

‘We know these stories – most of them anyway: the destruction wrought by Kennedy men. There’s JFK’s constant priapic propositioning of White House interns, his cruelty to Jackie and to Marilyn; Bobby’s sexual competition with his older brother; the hours Mary Jo Kopechne spent alive, trapped in Ted Kennedy’s car as her tiny pocket of air dwindled, while he dragged himself free and ran away; the macho bullying of Carolyn Bessette by JFK Jr that led to both their deaths. But seeing it all laid out, interconnected, makes this a grim but very compelling read.’ Irish Independent


‘If you're after non-fiction that reads like a propulsive political thriller, this is the book for you in July. Bestselling author and journalist Maureen Callahan returns to our shelves with a searing exposé that explores the tumultuous relationships within the Kennedy family. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Callahan unravels the complexities of this renowned family and the trails of women left behind. The book confronts the darker truths of power and privilege, offering a sobering reflection on the consequences of unchecked political influence. Ask Not is a gripping and poignant exploration of a pivotal era in American history and the individuals caught in its whirlwind.’ Glamour

‘A long history of ‘misogyny, murder and mayhem’ is revealed in this scandal-filled new book by the Mail’s own Maureen Callahan, who puts the darker underbelly of the Kennedy Clan – the closest thing America has to a royal family – on display, examining their treatment of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette.’ – Mail on Sunday

‘A timely reminder of the dangers posed by men who crave power’ – Peter Conrad, Guardian

‘We know these stories – most of them anyway: the destruction wrought by Kennedy men. There’s JFK’s constant priapic propositioning of White House interns, his cruelty to Jackie and to Marilyn; Bobby’s sexual competition with his older brother; the hours Mary Jo Kopechne spent alive, trapped in Ted Kennedy’s car as her tiny pocket of air dwindled, while he dragged himself free and ran away; the macho bullying of Carolyn Bessette by JFK Jr that led to both their deaths. But seeing it all laid out, interconnected, makes this a grim but very compelling read.’ Irish Independent

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About the Author

Maureen Callahan has worked as an editor and writer at the New York Post for seven years, covering everything from the subcultures of the Lower East Side to local and national politics. Before that, she worked as a writer for MTV, Sassy, New York magazine and Spin, where she won an ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for co-authoring DON'T DRINK THE BROWN WATER, a lengthy expose of what led to the Woodstock riots of 1999; that piece was also selected for inclusion in DaCapo's BEST MUSIC WRITING 2000. Last year, she was nominated for a Pulitzer by the New York Post for her work at the paper.

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Product Details

Publisher
HarperCollins Publishers | Mudlark
Published
3rd July 2024
Pages
336
ISBN
9780008473259

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