True Compass is the posthumous memoir of United States Senator Ted Kennedy that was released September 14, 2009, by Twelve, a division of the Hachette book group.
Kennedy signed up to do the book in the autumn of 2007. Kennedy received a reported $8 million advance for the work. It was written with the help of Pulitzer Prize-winning collaborator Ron Powers and was based on contemporaneous notes taken by Kennedy throughout his life, hours of recordings for an oral history project, and long interviews. Despite the collaboration, Kennedy literary representative Robert Barnett said that "every word" in the work was Kennedy's. Kennedy's editor, Jonathan Karp, later said that "it was very clear from the outset that he was setting out to write a work of history, a work of personal history, and that he wanted this book very much to be a legacy."
After he received his brain cancer diagnosis, Kennedy halted work on the book for a while, but then returned to it with renewed vigor and as one of his top priorities. Kennedy died the day a final copy of the book was delivered to his home.
The work was originally intended for publication in 2010, then moved up to October 2009, and then finally moved up to September 2009, less than a month after Kennedy's death. A Twelve spokesperson said, "The book was completed earlier this summer. Our original publication date was October 6. We’d always hoped to publish sooner. The production process moved faster than expected, so we were able to shave off some time." After The New York Times obtained the book before its publication date and released some information about it, the Twelve spokesperson said he was "dismayed" that the Times had obtained it and that "we regret that the New York Times did not respect the September 14th release date of 'True Compass', which was carefully coordinated with the senator's family. That copy was obtained without consent or permission from Twelve – or if it was somehow purchased, then it was sold illegally." True Compass had an announced first printing of 1.5 million copies.
This is an extraordinary memoir. It held my interest and was a quick read, which is good for a 500+ page book. There are several reasons why this autobiography is so intriguiing: It gives a well-rounded look at Ted Kennedy's life: his family, his schooling, his years campaigning for his brothers, and his own political service. Kennedy writes candidly about the low-points in his life: his brothers's assassinations, Mary Jo Kopechne, and his divorce. He gives a behind-the-scenes look at the … more
True Compass is a memoir of the life of Ted Kennedy. I picked it up at my local library because I was interested in learning more about the life of this extraordinary man who spent most of his life in the United States Senate. The memoir begins with Senator Kennedy preparing to address the 2008 Democratic National Convention in order to gain support for the Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama. After this intro, we are treated to a look back at his life. He talks about the tough lessons … more
How important is Ted Kennedy's Memoire? I believe every man, woman and child over 12 years old in 2009 in all the world needs to read TRUE COMPASS to gain its multi-faceted levels of knowledge about 77 years of an important life. As he lay dying, Ted Kennedy has a last goal, to finish TRUE COMPASS, his personal story of his life. And, he succeeded. Kennedy speaks about those important experiences that could help us understand who he was as a human being … more
Quick Tip by NYWriterBarbaraGarro.
October 12, 2009