Today the Catholic Book Club is discussing The Patriarch, David Nasaw's biography of Joseph P. Kennedy. In order to facilitate discussion, I offer some questions here for discussion. I welcome everyone to contribute answers to these questions, your own questions, or any reactions you have to the book.
1. Having considered the entire life of Joseph Kennedy, from his days as “Honey Fitz’s son-in-law,” to his unrivaled financial success, to the death of his four eldest children and his own death, was Joseph Kennedy a happy man?
2. Knowing both the affection he showed his children and the way he conducted his own personal life, was he a good father?
3. Do you agree with Richard Cardinal Cushing’s assessment of the American Hierarchy’s rejection of John F. Kennedy as a presidential candidate in 1960? (Nasaw, p723-725) How has the 1960 election affected Catholic candidates for political office in the United States today?
I sincerely look forward to your responses.