Sunday, September 06, 2009

Time Magazine - Ted Kennedy Pieces

Two excellent pieces on Ted Kennedy and his passing from the Sept 7 issue of Time Magazine.

The first is "Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009: The Brother Who Mattered Most" by Richard Lacayo and the second "Ted Kennedy: Bringing the Myth Down to Earth" from David Von Drehele.

I particularly enjoyed the Von Drehele piece as he's an excellent writer and the author of the non-fiction work "Triangle" about the Triange Shirtwaist Company fire of 1911 (which I reviewed here).

Both Von Drehle's and the piece by Lacayo examine the legacy of the Kennedy brothers and how Ted fits in. He's the least mythologized as a result of his long life, but perhaps the most impactful over his political career... with the youngest brother's Presidential ambitions having led into his highly successful run in the Senate.

As Von Drehle eloquently writes...

"Ted might have gone early. In 1964 he was dragged, critically injured, from the wreckage of a plane crash. Had he died that day, he too would have remained forever young and dashing. No Chappaquiddick, no divorce, no boozy indiscretions. But also no antiapartheid campaign, no Americans with Disabilities Act, no Family and Medical Leave Act."

Such a shame for him to pass away now before one of his battles... that for universal health coverage, could be realized (with his passing also taking away a perhaps needed vote in the Senate).


On a different topic from the same issue, I also found interesting the Nancy Gibbs essay "Cash for Clunkers: The Bribery Stimulus" which details the enormous public response to a program that may not do much other than get people excited about a deal. As Gibbs writes about... if that gets people excited and optimistic about the economy, it's $3B well spent.