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The Senator: My Ten Years With Ted Kennedy
In 1971 Richard Burke, a freshman at Georgetown University, volunteered his services to the offices of his political idol, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Through ability, hard work, and dedication, Burke rose in the next four years to become one of the Senator’s closest staff members. In 1977 he was made Kennedy’s personal assistant; after his appointment in 1978 as administrative assistant – the youngest in the Senate – he came to know Edward M. Kennedy perhaps more intimately than anyone outside the closed circle of the Senator’s family. He was often the last to see the Senator at night and the first to see him in the morning. This book is the account of what Richard Burke witnessed and experienced during his decade at the Senator’s right hand. It is neither a full biography nor an examination of Kennedy’s long career in government. Rather, it is the history of a young man who shared the Senator’s professional and personal lives during a time marked by exhilarating public achievements and tragic secret misconduct. His story is not only the chronicle of a shattered idol, but of Richard Burke’s own fall from grace, and eventual recovery. Burke does not shrink from confronting his own faults, and he agrees with the Senator: It is time for him to confront his.