Kennedy Memoir: Chappaquiddick 'Inexcusable'

Senator writes openly of his worst moments
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2009 6:00 AM CDT
Kennedy Memoir: Chappaquiddick 'Inexcusable'
Following a car crash that claimed the life of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, Ted Kennedy wears a neck brace on his way to her funeral, Hyannis, Massachusetts, July 22, 1969.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Ted Kennedy tells of his anguish after Chappaquiddick in a memoir to be published this month, reports the New York Times, admitting that he "made terrible decisions" in the accident that killed his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. In True Compass, Kennedy deals unsparingly with the low points in his life, telling of his self-destructive drinking after brother Robert was assassinated, but blasting the "false, bizarre, and evil theories" about his life written in some books and tabloids.

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The senator writes extensively on his relationships with the rest of the Kennedy clan and explains his decision not to run for president in 1984. He gives his views on various presidents, sharply criticizing Jimmy Carter. Kennedy opens the book with an account of his diagnosis with brain cancer. "I believe that approaching adversity with a positive attitude at least gives you a chance for success,” he writes. “Approaching it with a defeatist attitude predestines the outcome: defeat. And a defeatist’s attitude is just not in my DNA.” (Read more Chappaquiddick stories.)

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