The intimate, multi-generational story of the Kennedy family as seen through their Hyannis Port compound on Cape Cod—the iconic place where they’ve celebrated, mourned, and forged the closest of bonds—based on more than a hundred in-depth interviews by a Rolling Stone editor whose pieces have appeared in such publications as Town & Country, Esquire, and Vanity Fair.
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, is synonymous with the Kennedy family. It is where, for a hundred years, America’s most storied political family has come to celebrate, bond, play, and, also, grieve. It is also the setting of so many events we remember: JFK giving his presidential acceptance speech, Jackie speaking with a Life magazine reporter just days after her husband’s assassination, Senator Edward Kennedy seeking refuge after the Chappaquiddick crash, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger tying the knot—and even Conor Kennedy courting pop star Taylor Swift. Anyone who has lived in, worked at, or visited the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port has had a front-row view to history. Now, with extraordinary access to the Kennedy family—and featuring more than fifty rarely-seen images—journalist Kate Storey gives us a remarkably intimate and poignant look at the rhythms of an American dynasty.
Drawing from more than a hundred conversations with family members, friends, neighbors, household and security staff, Storey delivers a rich and textured account of the Kennedys’ lives in their summer refuge. From the 1920s, when Rose and Joseph P. Kennedy rented then bought a home known as The Malcolm Cottage, to today, when many Kennedys have purchased their own homes surrounding what’s now called The Big House, this book delivers many surprising revelations across the decades, including what matriarch Rose considered the family’s greatest tragedy, the rivalrous relationship between brothers Jack and Joe, details about Jackie’s life at the compound, and previously unknown glimpses into JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s loving and ill-fated relationship.
Fascinating, engaging, and illuminating, White House by the Sea provides a sweeping history of an American dynasty that has left an indelible mark on our nation’s politics and culture.
About the Author
Kate Storey is the senior features editor at Rolling Stone. She was previously a staff writer at Esquire, where she covered culture and politics, and has written long-form profiles and narrative features for Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Town & Country, and other publications. She lives with her family in New Jersey.
Ranked #1 by Town&Country as the Must-Read Book of the Summer
An Elle magazine Most Anticipated Book of the Summer
“A treasure trove of interesting, amusing, and poignant stories and anecdotes of the dynamic, tightknit, and consequential clan…Appropriately enough, the book makes for great beach reading, as breezy as the summer air off Nantucket Sound.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Engaging and factual, capturing personal nuances and relaying intimate anecdotes that often stand in contrast to predominant, media-created perceptions...Readers will come away with new insights and due appreciation for this uniquely American dynasty.” —Booklist (starred review)
“An immersive behind-the-scenes history…Full of vivid profiles and intriguing asides about the history of Cape Cod, this is a compassionate portrait of America’s most famous political dynasty.” —Publishers Weekly
“A resplendent stirring of nostalgia…Cape Cod has never had a book worthy of its romance with the Kennedys, nor have the Kennedys had one that does justice to their courtship with the peninsula they transformed into America's Playground—until now. Thanks, Kate Storey, for telling so well a story of who we were in a simpler era, and for making so clear why that story remains so resonant.” —Larry Tye, New York Times bestselling author of Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon
“Impeccably researched, Kate Storey's White House by the Sea is an irresistible invitation to spend time with America's First Family over decades of magical summertimes. Captivating!” —Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Hotel Nantucket
“From touch football on the sprawling lawn to sailing adventures on the Nantucket Sound, to barefoot ice cream runs and steaming thermoses of clam chowder, this is the Kennedy clan at their most private. With a unique angle and chock full of new detail, Kate Storey’s White House by the Sea is a rare peek behind the hedges and fences of Hyannis Port, weaving tales of triumph and despair to render a complex generational portrait of a family built on love and ambition but torn asunder by success and competition.” —Julie Satow, author of The Plaza: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel
“Kate Storey has given us a treat, bringing to life the vibrant comings and goings of the Kennedy clan in the Cape Cod refuge where they gathered to relax, celebrate birthdays, and devise presidential election strategy—as well as find solace during times of tragedy and terrible loss. Intimate, personal, and showing a keen eye for detail, White House by the Sea offers illuminating “if these walls could talk” stories, affirming how a house can stand like a witness tree, enduring silently as a family lives through its most public and private moments.” —Kate Clifford Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
“In White House by the Sea, Kate Storey writes a compellingly new book about the Kennedy family, putting them in a whole new context. Profoundly empathetic, rich in detail, this is a Kennedy book that must be read and once read will not be forgotten.” —Laurence Leamer, New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Women, The Kennedy Men, and Sons of Camelot
“Revealing and poignant, well-written and insightful, White House by the Sea dazzles. Kate Storey has found a fresh way to tell the saga of the ever-fascinating Kennedy family.” —Meryl Gordon, New York Times bestselling author of Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend
“Just when you think you knew everything there is to know about the Kennedys, Kate Storey comes along with this powerful, touching, and deeply personal look at the time the Kennedys spent in Hyannis Port. Storey is a brilliant storyteller and a relentless researcher who has uncovered sources that no one has seen before. That is one reason why this book is so fresh and compelling and also impossible to put down.” —Steven M. Gillon, New York Times bestselling author of America's Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.
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