Kennedy gets candid over his "Lows" in memoir

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New York, Sep.3 (ANI): In his memoir to be published this month, the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy talks candidly about the many lows in his 77-year-long life, including his behavior after the 1969 car accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, which he described as "inexcusable".

He said those events might have shortened the life of his ailing father, Joseph P. Kennedy

In that book, "True Compass," Kennedy said he was dazed, afraid and panicked in the minutes and hours after he drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island with Kopechne as his passenger.

He admitted that he had "made terrible decisions" but said that he had hardly known Kopechne, a young woman who had been an aide to his late brother Robert, and that he had had no romantic relationship with her.

His book does not shy from the accident, or from some other less savory aspects of the senator's life, including a notorious 1991 drinking episode in Palm Beach, Florida, or the years of heavy drinking and women-chasing that followed his 1982 divorce from his first wife, Joan.

But it also offers rich detail on his relationships with his father, siblings and children that round out a portrait of a man who lived the most public of lives and yet remained something of a mystery.

Among other things, it says that in 1984 he decided against seeking the presidency after hearing the emotional objections of his children, who, it says, feared for his life.

The New York Times obtained a copy of the 532-page memoir, scheduled for sale September 14.n it, Kennedy also said he had always accepted the finding of a presidential commission that a sole gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, was responsible for President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

He also talks about how Robert F. Kennedy grieved so deeply over the killing of the president that family members feared for his emotional health,

Ted Kennedy wrote, saying that it "veered close to being a tragedy within a tragedy."

Kennedy's book provides new details about life in America's famous political family and covers the remarkable career that was celebrated in memorials last week before his burial near John and Robert Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery.

It also provides his personal account of being stricken by the brain cancer that took his life and his decision to battle the disease as aggressively as he could.

And it deals openly and regretfully with "self-destructive drinking," especially after his brother Robert's death.

Kennedy said his father had encouraged intensive competition among his children, especially his sons, which fed his recurrent feelings of inadequacy after the death of his three brothers, all of them older.

"Competition, of course, is the route to achievement in America. As I think back to my three brothers, and about what they had accomplished before I was even out of my childhood, it sometimes has occurred to me that my entire life has been a constant state of catching up," he said.

Kennedy said that as close as his family was, there were "boundaries" that each member respected.

The book, published by Twelve, a division of the Hachette Book Group, was originally scheduled to be published in 2010 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the election of President Kennedy but was moved up because of the senator's illness.

Much of the book, written with a collaborator, Ron Powers, was based on notes taken by Kennedy over 50 years as well as hours of recordings for an oral history project at the University of Virginia. (ANI)

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