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Kennedy Memoir To Sell For $1K Each

From an unfazed Boston Globe:

Lavish Kennedy book to sell for $1k a copy

July 14, 2009

At a time when publishers are scrambling to keep customers willing to pay $26 for a hardcover book instead of $9.99 for an electronic version, the publisher of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s forthcoming memoir is going in the opposite direction – issuing a limited edition it plans to sell for $1,000 a copy.

Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, is planning to issue 1,000 copies of a leather-bound, electronically signed edition of “True Compass’’ and sell them through the website of Hachette Book Group, the parent company of Grand Central. Although publishers and licensed contractors do occasionally produce collectors’ editions on various titles, such a premium version is quite rare.

Kennedy, 77, reportedly received an $8 million advance for the memoir that he wrote in collaboration with Ron Powers, an author of “Flags of Our Fathers,’’ about the Marines who raised the US flag at Iwo Jima during World War II, and other biographies. Kennedy’s book was originally scheduled for a 2010 publication date. Twelve is now planning to release the regular hardcover edition on Oct. 6, with a retail list price of $35. It is planning an initial print run of 1.5 million copies.

Gosh, this doesn’t seem like ‘social justice ‘somehow.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

19 Responses to “Kennedy Memoir To Sell For $1K Each”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    I think waterproof Neoprene would have been more appropriate than a leather cover.

  2. untrainable says:

    Leather bound “electronically signed”?? I must be slipping, Does that mean Teddy has an electric pen?

    I’d rather have the pen.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I hear it was tentatively titled “If I Did It”.

  4. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Kennedy, 77, reportedly received an $8 million advance for the memoir”

    Boy … did that publisher get screwed!?!?!?

  5. neocon mom says:

    Does that automatically make the book a “classic” since poor kids in the Bronx won’t have access to it?

  6. jobeth says:

    Now why would anyone want to put out $1000 for a book of lies?

    Heck, if lies are what they want I can write one for a lot less than that.

    And for that kind of money a real signing shouldn’t be too taxing on the senator.

    As Barnam once said…”there’s one born every minute”

  7. TwilightZoned says:

    The head on the character in “The Exorcist” won’t even come close to the spin Teddy’s going to put on this.

  8. BigOil says:

    A thousand dollars to read the memoir of a two-bit human being. It just doesn’t add up.

  9. canary says:

    electronically signed? Hope he’s not on oxygen.

  10. artboyusa says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you God! What a gift to satire! What an opportunity for the parodist! Oh this has made my week! I think Ted definitely needs a ghost writer before he becomes one himself and I’m reporting for duty, as another Bay State solon once said. Watch this space…

  11. artboyusa says:

    TRUE COMPASS: the Ted Kennedy Story
    (as told to artboyusa)

    Chapter One: “A Father’s Love, a Child’s Trust”

    The book contract lay on the gleaming coffee table. Another zillion smackeroons in the old Swiss account thought Ted. Sitting there in the vault next to the jewels and the Krugerrands and the blackmail pictures and all those bars of Nazi gold. When you get to my age you know what really matters in life.

    It would be a good book mused Ted and he looked forward to reading it sometime. Could even win a Pulitzer Prize. That would be something. In your face, Jack! I wonder how much a Pulitzer costs nowadays? Dad paid plenty to make sure Jack won for his ghostwritten book. Paid even more to keep it quiet too…

    Still mulling his literary problem, Ted gazed blearily out over the windswept lawns of the Kennedy Compound, past the razor wire and the guard towers, the restlessly pacing police dogs with their scowling handlers, to the churning liquid blue of the ocean.

    How I love the sea, he mused, sipping his highball, the tremor in his hand causing the ice cubes to rattle softly.

    So restless and wild; so free. The only place where I could ever be myself; just plain old “Ted” and not Senator Edward Moore Kennedy, the millionaire politician, alcoholic and submerged driving pioneer.

    I remember how Dad taught me to swim. I was only about five or six: Dad would push me under and hold me there until I stopped moving, then he’d lift me out and shake me until I started breathing again, then he’d push me back under, over and over, until I learned. Strict but fair, that was old Dad.

    “Quit crying!” he’d yell, but always with so much love in his voice. “What are you, a little girl or something? You make me sick, you little faggot!”

    Then he’d push me under again and I’d struggle and struggle to get away and that’s how I learned to swim and how I came to love the sea. The sea was escape; the sea was freedom, the sea was safety.

    Ted accepted another whiskey sour from the tray in the houseboy’s white gloved hand.

    Good old Dad – or “His Excellency, Mr Ambassador”, as we had to call him around the house. Always there for us; except when he was in New York or London or Hollywood or the Vatican.

    I remember coming home from my first day at nursery school with some finger paintings the nuns had helped me make. I was so proud! I ran into his office to show Dad but he was busy talking on the phone. He always had to work extra hard because there was so much anti-Irish prejudice in those days – why it took Dad almost ten years to steal – I mean earn, his first million.

    “That’s right, Al. Your boys can pick up the shipment at the usual place. We got Canadian Club, Gordon’s –the usual stuff. Hey, what the hell do you want – no, not you Al. Just my kid. Yeah, the little fat one. Sorry. No, Al. No short count this time, I promise. Ciao padrone – well, what the hell do you want, Taddy?”

    “Teddy, Daddy. My name is Teddy…”

    “Don’t contradict your father, boy. What is it? Huh? Talk to me, runt!”

    “Um, look at my pictures, Dad. Look at what I did. This one’s for you. See? These are dinosaurs. Those are angels. That’s the Sacred Heart of Jesus…”

    “Are you kidding me? Look at this stuff – what a mess! These figures are all out of proportion. And those colors are all wrong. The sun isn’t blue! What’s the matter with you, Taddy? You’re not retarded, are you? Huh? Because if you are…” and he pointed to my forehead and made this kind of drilling sound.

    That famous Kennedy wit. Dad was always kidding people, especially if they were smaller and weaker than him.

    “I’m not re-re-retarded, Dad. Just a little lonesome sometimes. I miss Rosemary. When is she coming home, Dad?”

    “Shut up! You ask too many goddam questions! Joe! Jack! Everybody get in here and look at the stupid mess little Taddy made!” he yelled and everybody came in, the whole family, and everyone had a good laugh.

    Except me, mused Ted, tucking the vodka bottle back under the sofa cushions were he kept it for special occasions. For some reason I started crying and they just laughed at me even harder and then Dad said I had to go and stay in the closet until tomorrow because I wasn’t a real Kennedy boy, I was just a sissy little girl and probably retarded.

    It was really dark in there. Angelina the maid brought me some leftover dinner but Dad found out and she got fired for insubordination, which served her right because, after all, Dad was paying her salary.

    I don’t think Angelina liked Dad anyway, since one time I went into one of the guest bedrooms and Dad was laying on top of Angelina without his pants on and moving around all jerky and spasmodic and making these groaning noises like he didn’t feel good but instead of helping him, Angelina just lay there crying.

    Well, it was the 1930s – the country was doing great then, so I’m sure Angelina soon found another job with another loving family.

    Ted sipped his rum and coke. Tropical. Before his watery eyes a grim but distant vision of war appeared; the red glow on the horizon as London burned under the German Blitz and then the crunching sound of His Excellency the Ambassador’s car on the gravel drive as it drew up to the estate.

    “Gonna be pretty bad tonight”, said the Ambassador as he stepped into the Grand Ballroom. “Those Limeys are sure gonna catch it. Serves ‘em right too, for letting the Jews start this war. Good thing I moved us fifty miles away. Hey, guess what? Some of the Embassy staff actually wanted to use my personal air raid shelter but I told them nix on that. I’ve got some plenty valuable gifts in there from my friends at the Reich Luftministerium, plenty valuable. They’ll just have to take their chances down in the Underground, same as everyone else”.

    “Joe? Is that you? Joe? Where am I?” murmured Mrs Kennedy.

    “Oh, rats. The dope’s wearing off. You need another shot. Doc? Where are you, Doc? Get in here quick.”

    Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Dear old Mother. Sure, she was usually all shot up with tranquilizers, since Dad didn’t want her getting overexcited, and usually she just sat there kind of staring or whispering over her rosary beads, so it was hard to talk to her but Ted always knew how much she loved him.

    He uncorked another bottle of Chateau LaTour and recalled Mother’s 127th birthday party. All the family who’d managed to stay alive so far were there to honor their Matriarch. The nurses had wheeled her in and he’d bent down and taken her thin, liver spotted claw in his pinker, more swollen one and whispered: “Happy Birthday, Mother. I love you”.

    Slowly, she’d looked up at him, raising her tiny head until he was looking right into her filmy eyes: “Joe? Is that you, Big Joe? We gonna make another baby, Joe?” she whispered urgently. Her tongue flickered briefly over her flaming red lips and Ted shuddered.

    Then Mother had collapsed and pitched face first into the birthday cake. God, it was awful – the 127 candles ignited her hat and she had to be sprayed down with the fire extinguisher and she almost suffocated in the frosting and everybody was yelling and running around.

    After that the Hyannis Fire Department and the cops showed up and they all had to be taken care of, and that wasn’t as cheap as it used to be. Imagine the headlines: “Ted K Immolates Mom at Birthday Bash”. Good thing the only press there was from the Boston Globe so there was no problem keeping the whole thing out of the papers but even so…

    Ted brushed the last traces of blow from the mirror and wiped his fingers briskly over his gums. Numbing. Then, at last, the war had came to America itself, despite Dad’s telling Roosevelt how to handle things, and little Ted had followed the adventures of his brothers as they went off to fight.

    Joe, the eldest son – courageously volunteering himself and his co-pilot for a one-way mission.

    Jack, the funny one – the only PT boat skipper ever to get run over by the Japanese navy.

    Kathleen – “Kick”- his beautiful sister – who had stayed in Britain and married outside the Church and was punished by God, who first killed her husband in the war and then made the plane she was on with her new fiancé fall out of the sky, or at least that was what Mother had said.

    “I disowned her, the apostate slut” Mother had snarled lovingly “and I’m not going to the funeral. You can’t make me, Joe”.

    Dad had smiled indulgently. “You should know by now that I can make you or anyone else do pretty much whatever I want, Rose,” he hissed. “But that’s fine. I’ll represent the family at the funeral and you can stay home and pray for her soul to burn in hell”.

    “I’ll start now, shall I?” said Mother.

    Of course, when Ted was old enough to be expelled from Harvard he too had done his service proudly, helping his country to victory in Korea by assisting with vital office work at US headquarters in Paris. Not reading the enlistment papers had been a mistake, he thought. I only meant to sign up for two years, not four.

    “You CAN read, can’t you, Taddy?” his father had sneered, before making some phone calls and fixing it.

    Ted savored the licorice flavor of the absinthe. Mmmm…Bohemian. What about his year at Harvard? He’d worked so hard at his studies, but somehow, things never went quite right. It was almost like there was something wrong with his head.

    “Hola, Teddy” his roommate grinned. “Usted esta listo para su examen espanol?”

    “Huh?”

    “You know, the Spanish test. It’s tomorrow”.

    “Oh sure. The Spanish test”. How could a language that even the kitchen staff and gardeners could understand be so difficult? It-o made-o no sense-o.

    “Listen, Georgie. I can’t take that test. No chance. I’ll flunk for sure and I really need a passing grade or my Dad will kill me”.

    “C’mon, Teddy. Don’t exaggerate”.

    “I’m not exaggerating! I’m not! He already thinks I’m retarded. You know what that means? C’mon! But you habla the lingo mucho bono. You could help me out, Georgie – and make some real dough too. A Kennedy knows how to take care of a friend, Georgie”.

    “Teddy! No! That’s cheating. I couldn’t”.

    “Sure, you could, pal. Who’d ever find out?”

    Somehow, it had all gone wrong, again, and he’d been expelled. It had cost Dad a fortune in donations to get him back in and even more to pay Pablo, the lawnmower guy’s son, to tutor him.

    “Listen Taddy, and listen good. This is unacceptable”, his father had told him. “Unacceptable. I have plans for this family, see? Big plans.”

    The old man idly spun the globe on his desk and stopped it with one swipe of his big, freckled hand.

    “And I won’t let you fuck them up, see? I can’t tolerate an imperfect child. There’s no place in this family for a Kennedy who falls short of the flawless standard of intellectual and physical perfection I’ve established” he growled, polishing his thick spectacles and running a hand through his thin, white hair.

    “This is your last warning, Taddy. Shape up or…” and he pointed to Ted’s forehead and made that drilling sound again.

    Ted took another slug of Chivas. Expensive. He smiled ruefully. Things could’ve been worse, he thought, as the image of his sister Rosemary’s smiling face appeared in his mind. A lot worse…

  12. artboyusa says:

    TRUE COMPASS: the Ted Kennedy Story
    (as told to artboyusa)

    Chapter Two: “Ted Gets His Feet Wet”

    “…and so just because I flipped the Jeep over and paralyzed her for life I’ve had to pay out for like thirty years now and her legs still haven’t grown back or anything and she still wants money but I say I’ve given her enough and she should just get over it and quit being such a crybaby. I asked Hugo Chavez and he agrees with me. I mean, c’mon – we’re not made of money are we, Uncle Ted?”

    The nasal voice of Ted’s nephew, Young Joe, sounded distantly in the Conscience of the Senate’s ears as he popped the cork on another bottle of Bollinger. What the hell was that boy talking about? Another girl, another car wreck – so what? He’d heard it all so many times before.

    Women; it was all their fault, decided Ted. There were just too many damn women around, that was the problem, reflected Ted as he knocked back another Tequila Slammer. Bracing. Over time the Kennedys had done their bit – and how – to whittle down the female population but there were still lots of them left over. Too many. How many women could one family make really unhappy – or worse?

    Last night he’d had that dream again. The one were he was back in the old house in Brookline and he opened a door and there was Dad, His Excellency the Ambassador, screwing Gloria Swanson. “Get outta here, Taddy!” the old man screamed.

    Then he opened another door and there was Jack, screwing Marilyn Monroe. “Get outta here, Teddy!”

    He opened still another door and there was Bob, screwing Marilyn Monroe. “Get outta here, Ted!”

    He opened yet another door and there was Big Brother Joe, screwing himself. “I’d like to volunteer for this extra-hazardous, one-way mission, Sir. And so would my crew…”

    And then he opened a final door and there was John John at the controls of his plane. “I can tell when I’m flying upside down, Carolyn. And quit screaming! I’m not stupid, you know…”

    What did it all mean? Ted cinched the belt tighter around his arm and probed for a vein.

    Then there was Joan, his first wife. Blonde, beautiful, fertile, not too smart – the perfect Kennedy woman. Why had she let him down by becoming a miserable, weeping alcoholic whose own children had to become her legal guardians? What did he ever do to deserve that? You’d have thought being married to him would be enough to keep any woman happy. She’d been a real disappointment to him. A real let down. At least he still had his beautiful acknowledged children: Teddy Junior, and the other one, the one with the wooden leg (or was that the first one?), and the girl.

    Ted packed the wad of black opium into the bowl and lit a match. Mmmm…addictive. Then there’d been that other girl; the one who was so special, the one who made the ultimate sacrifice for him: Mary Jane? Mary Ellen? Peggy Sue?

    Never could quite recall her name but the memory of the car spinning into the darkness, the icy water pouring in, was still so very, very vivid. The awful sensation of helplessness and fear – it was just like one of Dad’s swimming lessons. Ted uncapped the bottle of Old Spice and took a gulp. Smooth. That girl –whatshername – she had been so beautiful and so brave.

    “Senator! Save yourself! Don’t worry about me. I’ll just stay here in the freezing black water in the backseat of an upside down Delmont 88 for hours and hours until the air runs out or until you get your story straight – whichever comes first. Leave me and save yourself! You need to be President some day!”

    Ted nibbled at the magic mushrooms. Trippy. “Farewell, my darling!” he had cried, squeezing himself out the window. “I’ll never forget you, Mary Ann!”

    “Huh? What? Hey, wait a minute, you sonofa…burble burble burble” she burbled as the rising water covered her but by then Ted was already paddling like anything away from the wreck and on his way back to a safe place where he could consult with his attorneys and not phone anybody for help.

    Ted sucked deeply on the crack pipe. Stimulating. He looked carefully over the faded transcript of his 1969 broadcast. …even by his standards this was gibberish:

    ”Free to tell you what happened and what it means to me” (yeah, ME. I’m the important one. Don’t you forget it)…”I attended on Friday evening July 18 a cookout I had encouraged and helped sponsor” (six middle aged men and six good looking single women in their twenties. No wives invited. Perfectly harmless evening)…”there is no truth, no truth whatsoever, to the widely-circulated suspicions of immoral conduct” (I never even got past second base, dammit)…”nor was I driving under the influence of liquor”…(stoned out of my head, though)…”but somehow I struggled to the surface alive” (just like when Dad was teaching me to swim)…”I made immediate and repeated efforts to save Mary Jo by diving into the strong and murky current” (I did, too. Honest –just ask Mary Jo. Why did I have to say it was ‘murky’? It was the middle of the night – how could I tell?)…”I do not seek to escape responsibility for my actions” (yeah, right. Don’t even go there).

    Ted took another swig of peppermint schnapps and recalled how he’d sat in front of those TV cameras in a black suit and a borrowed surgical collar, reading the words his lawyers had written for him and lying his face off. They’ll never buy this crap, he’d thought desperately. No one’s that stupid, not even in Massachusetts. It’s all over for me, for us, for the country. There’ll never be another President Kennedy – what would become of America without his family’s intense public service ethos? How would the ordinary people cope?

    After the broadcast he’d peeled off the collar and walked away, wandering the corridors. Pouring himself a drink in the Breakfast Room he suddenly became aware of a silent figure alone in the shadows.

    Dad! The dynamic Wall Street tycoon was now a shrivelled old man in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed and almost speechless from a stroke. Tragic, really, if it had been anyone else other than this treacherous, bootlegging, Jew-baiting, Nazi-loving, robber baron bastard.

    Ted swirled the brandy and took a big gulp. Soothing. “What is it, Dad?” he’d asked. “Can I get you a drink?” The bent figure was silent.

    “Did you see me on TV, Dad? Was I okay?” The bent figure was silent.

    “I know, I know. I fucked up again, didn’t I?” The bent figure was silent still.

    “I’m sorry, Dad. I know I’m not good enough. I know I’m a family joke. I’m sorry, Dad. I’m really, really sorry”.

    And then he’d broken down and wept, his body shaken by huge, gulping sobs, the salt tears streaming down his face. The bent figure was still silent, but the mouth moved – twitching, drooling, struggling to speak.

    “What is it, Dad? Are you trying to tell me something?” Ted bent closer, trying to catch any words that might come.

    “Do you forgive me, Dad? Say you forgive me. Do you love me, Dad? Say you love me, Dad. Please Dad, just once…just once”.

    The old ambassador’s body shivered and convulsed with the effort, his head rolled wildly, saliva streamed from his mouth but somehow, with an unimaginable effort, he at last spoke his final words to his only surviving son:

    “Taddy…you suck”.

    Wow! Talk about tough love!!! Check out tomorow’s concluding chapter!

  13. Liberals Demise says:

    BRAVO!!

  14. artboyusa says:

    TRUE COMPASS: the Ted Kennedy Story
    (as told to artboyusa)

    Chapter Three: “Words of Love”

    “What?” Ted gasped.

    “You…suck…never…liked…you…runt…of…litter…wish…it…was…you…in…Dallas…instead…of…Jack…you…not… Bobby…you…fucking…suck”.

    Ted poured himself a fresh pint of Guinness. Mmmm… Irish – as he fought to remember what happened next.

    It was all so vague and fragmented but he seemed to recall pushing Dad’s wheelchair really fast down the corridor and shouting, screaming really, at the top of his lungs – screaming, screaming, screaming – and Dad wriggling and struggling and then they were at the top of the stairs and Ted gave the wheelchair a shove, a really hard shove, and then Dad and his chair were flying, then bumping, crashing, rattling down the stairs until everything smashed hard on the white marble of the landing.

    Ted couldn’t hold back a smile at the memory of the wheelchair bouncing off his father’s prone body. It was just like in that old movie with Richard Widmark, he thought, rolling a joint. What was it called? Oh, yeah: “Kiss of Death”.

    Calmly, he’d descended the stairs and stood over the Ambassador’s shattered body.

    “Goooo…” the old man whispered.

    “Bastard!” Ted snarled. “Why – won’t – you – die?” he demanded furiously, punctuating each word with another hard kick to the old man’s head.

    “Goooooooooo…gooooo…” came the answer.

    What was he trying to say? Ted bent down to listen.

    “Gooood…good…boy…Ted…now…you…finally…acting…like…a…real
    Kennedy”.

    Ted felt a flush of pride and happiness at the memory and he raised a glass of Dom Perignon in a silent toast to that happy memory. But, too soon his quiet moment of love with Dad had been interrupted by the sound of raised voices and running feet.

    He’d jumped up and shouted ”Oh my God! There’s been a terrible accident! Another tragedy for the Kennedys! How much more must that poor family suffer? Sweet merciful Jesus – how could this thing happen? I was nowhere near here. It wasn’t me – I swear to God!” and in the scant seconds before help arrived and just as he was reattaching the surgical collar he’d looked down at his Dad’s broken body and the old man had winked at him.

    Atta boy…son.

    Or maybe it was only a muscle spasm – who could say? The point was that, at last, finally, he had won his dear father’s love and approval and over the coming years, while he lived out his destiny as the guiding light of Progressive America and the Conscience of the Senate, as scandals accrued and the body count rose higher, there would always be that special knowledge that no one could never take away from him, that he was a worthy son of one of the greatest monsters to ever blight public life in America…

    The highball glass rattled in his hand. Ted shoved it toward his mouth and tried to drink but it was no good; everything –fingers, lips, mind – were too numb and the whiskey dribbled uselessly down his chin.

    “Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Mother” he drooled as the glass fell from his unfeeling hands to smash on the floor and sweet alcoholic oblivion swept over him at last. He slid slowly down the wall and collapsed in a fat little heap. “You made me… what I am”.

    ** BTW,check this out: on Ted’s own website his statement on Iraq hasn’t been updated since 2006, his “stance” on immigration dates from 2007 and his statement on Social Security is from 2005, so let’s not have any nonsense about him being unfit or not on the ball or any of that stuff, okay?

    • proreason says:

      You should fictionalize these stories a bit more Artboy, so you won’t be sued. Other than that, another great job.


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