From Whence I Came: The Kennedy Legacy, Ireland and America


Brian Murphy & Donnacha Ó Beacháin (Eds)

March 2021

From Whence I Came reflects on the Kennedy family’s record of public service, as well as discussing broader themes relevant to Irish, American and global politics.

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Elected in 1960 as the 35th President of the USA, forty-three-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy remains to this day the office’s youngest incumbent and its first Roman Catholic. His presidency was short, but arguably no US President has inspired more people around the globe than JFK. Even today, for generations born decades after his death, President Kennedy’s legacy has an enduring appeal. Every year, in New Ross, County Wexford, the small port town from which his great-grandfather began his emigrant’s journey, leading academics, politicians, writers and broadcasters from all over the world gather to reflect on the Kennedy family’s record of public service and to discuss broader themes relevant to Irish, American and global politics.

This collection draws on some of the best papers delivered at the Kennedy Summer School since its foundation in 2012, including pieces by former Obama speechwriter Cody Kennan, the President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Kerry Kennedy, and senior adviser to Bernie Sanders, Tad Devine. From Whence I Came is a fascinating collection and a fitting tribute to mark the 60th anniversary of JFK’s momentous election to the White House.


Biographical Note on Contributors

Introduction – Brian Murphy & Donnacha Ó Beacháin

  1. Kennedy’s Great Grandmother – Celestine Murphy
  2. A harmless reassurance: Joseph Kennedy, FDR & the 1938 Anglo-Irish Agreements – Michael Kennedy
  3. Electing Kennedy – Donnacha Ó Beacháin
  4. ‘Go talk to Senator Russell’: John F. Kennedy and Richard B. Russell, Jr. – Howard Keeley
  5. Screening Kennedy in Ireland – Harvey O’Brien
  6. From Shannon to Dallas: The final twenty-one weeks of JFK’s Presidency – Brian Murphy
  7. Judging Kennedy – Felix M. Larkin
  8. John F. Kennedy’s Presidency and the Irish- US relationship – Mary Daly
  9. The Legacy of a Thousand Days – Robert Schmuhl
  10. Busing in Boston and Senator Edward Kennedy – Larry Donnelly
  11. Ted Kennedy: Distant Peacemaker – Alison Meagher
  12. Sharing the Passion and Action of Our Times – Robert Shrum
  13. The Download: Writing Speeches with Barack Obama – Cody Keenan
  14. The Bernie Sanders Campaign Story – Tad Devine
  15. Peace, justice and compassion towards those who’ve suffered – Kerry Kennedy

ABOUT THE EDITORS: Brian Murphy lectures at the Technological University Dublin.  He holds a PhD in Modern Irish History from University College Dublin and is the author of Forgotten Patriot: Douglas Hyde and the Foundation of the Irish Presidency and Brian Lenihan: In Calm and Crisis (co-editor). He was Co-Director of the Kennedy Summer School from 2016-2018.  Donnacha Ó Beacháin is Associate Professor of Politics at Dublin City University. His books include Destiny of the Soldiers: Fianna Fáil, Irish Republicanism and the IRA 1926-1973, Political Communication in Ireland (co-editor) and From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland (2018).


Additional information

Weight 0.61 kg


Paperback ISBN


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