As with many success stories, an impoverished, unknown yet powerful woman made it happen. In his new book, The First Kennedys, The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty author Neal Thompson tells us about the Ireland they fled and the matriarch Bridget Murphy, and her dockworker son who became a political organizer in Boston, among others. The anti-immigrant fervor of their time served as a playbook for today’s nativist hatred of non-Protestant arrivals. There are good reasons Americans are still fascinated and connected with this family.

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