The All Good Books discussion group will discuss Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World, This Thursday, March 21, 2019 at the Community of Christ Mission Road Congregation (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS). The meeting begins at 7 PM in the Church Library.

The following are some possible discussion questions for the group.

  1. Would you recommend this book to others? Why or why not?
  2. Name an incident in the book that added to your knowledge of history.
  3. Do you agree with the assertion made by the book’s title? Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World?
  4. How would you describe the book? As a roller coaster ride, a slow-moving train, a haunted house, a nighttime journey through a corn maze with only a flashlight, or a long but interesting Sunday morning sermon?
  5. Did the book change your opinion of Joe Kennedy? Of Rose Kennedy? Or change your opinion of the Kennedy brothers (Jack, Bobby and Ted)?
  6. Do you think the book does a service or disservice to the Kennedy family? Explain.
  7. Is the Kennedy mystic enhanced by Eileen McNamara‘s book or eroded by it? Why?
  8. On page 187, the author explains Cloward and Ohlin’s “opportunity theory” of juvenile delinquency. It holds that “social conditions, more than individual pathology, triggered delinquent behavior.” The author continues, “For Eunice, it was the deprivation in which they lived, the dysfunction with which they were surrounded, the economic and educational opportunities they were denied that bore the greater responsibility for their crimes.” Do you agree or disagree?
  9. What are your thoughts about the relationship between Eunice and her husband Sargent Shriver? How would you describe their marriage?
  10. Would you want Eunice Shriver as your mother? Would you want Rose Kennedy as your mother?
  11. The Kennedys operated on a “culture of silence.” Explain what that means. Does your family have a culture of silence? What are the benefits or disadvantages?
  12. Would you have been willing to work for Eunice Shriver? Consider the quote from page 275: “Working for Eunice meant always being on call. In an era before cell phones, Steven M. Eidelman, who did two tours as executive director of the Kennedy Foundation, bought an exercise bicycle after she complained she could not reach him when he was out jogging. Erika Hagensen, who filled the post during Steve’s interregnum, stopped taking meetings outside the office, inviting people from the Hill or federal agencies to share a brown bag lunch at her desk, so Eunice could always find her. Renee Dease, who worked for her for almost thirty years, kept her Saturday nights free in case Eunice needed her to pass hors d’oeuvres at a party.”
  13. What did Eunice mean by “Get on to yourself?”
  14. What’s your view of the Benedictine nun, Sister Joan Chittister’s statement that, “…I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
Advertisements