top of page

Susan Ronald – Joseph P. Kennedy

The Ambassador, Joseph P. Kennedy, At the Court of St. James, 1938-1940


“An Indispensable Book that will change forever the way we think about the Kennedy Family”

-        Lawrence Leamer, bestselling author of the Kennedy Women



Selected award winning books:

  • Conde Nast

  • A Dangerous Woman

  • Hitler’s Art Thief

  • Heretic Queen

Anchor 2

Episode #1

Q: Joseph P. Kennedy, The Ambassador - Susan Ronald  - INTRO:


  • Career in corporate finance

  • Interest in Tudors, starting writing

  • Gurlitt Art, Vault Collection

  • Focus on World War2

  • Fascinated by JFK, election, presidency

  • Focus on Joe Kennedy, Ambassador years

Episode #2

Q: What were the early influences that shaped Joe Kennedy?


  • Immigrant, Catholic, Outsider

  • Chip on the Shoulder

  • Father, saloon owner, politics

  • Driven to be the best

  • Ability to reinvent his past

Episode #3

Q: How did Kennedy make his Fortune?


  • Father made money as ward boss

  • Attended Harvard

  • Ran bank with Harvard friends

  • Very successful on Wall Street

  • Moved on to Hollywood production

  • Major Importer of whiskey

Episode #4

Q: What was the early relationship between Kennedy and Roosevelt?


  • Raised funds for 1928 election

  • Kennedy an excellent political fundraiser

  • Roosevelt not interested in Kennedy’s political views

  • Used Kennedy to get big business behind New Deal

Episode #5

Q:  Why did Roosevelt appoint Kennedy Ambassador?


  • Joe Kennedy wanted the Ambassadorship

  • Springboard for sons political future

  • Served as head of SEC

  • Initially Roosevelt thought it was ridiculous

  • Kennedy had dangerous views

  • Better for Kennedy to be on the inside

Episode #6

Q: Did Kennedy get along with Churchill?


  • Frosty, pretty much terrible

  • Thought Churchill was dangerous

  • More sympathetic  with Mussolini/Vatican

  • Forced by White House to congratulate him

Episode #7

Q: Did Kennedy resign or get fired?


  • Roosevelt preferred that Kennedy continue

  • State Department happy for him to leave

  • Kennedy wanted to go back to USA

  • Planned on campaigning for Wilkie, against Roosevelt

  • Resigned in a huff

  • Reached a deal with Roosevelt

Episode #8

Q: What were Kennedy’s foreign policy views?


  • Followed views of Vatican

  • Close to Count Enrico Galeazzi

  • Supported Corporate State

  • Fascist Approach

  • Kennedy Plan for Jews

  • Usurped plan & efforts by others

Episode #9

Q: Did Kennedy collaborate with isolationists Ford & Lindbergh?


  • Staunchly isolationist

  • Fed senators, congressmen enormous amount of info

  • Did not work with Ford so much

  • Close to Lindbergh

  • Commissioned Lindbergh for arms study

  • Pressured Hollywood producers to stop anti-Nazi stand

Episode #10

Q: Did Kennedy have political ambitions?


  • Ambition to build political dynasty

  • Why not me first?

  • Created image of international expert

  • Events in Europe caught up with him

Episode #11

Q: Joe Kennedy & the Kennedy Kids:


  • Joe Jr. was like his father

  • Chip off the old block

  • Jack was the reader

  • Jack understood history

  • Joe Kennedy took advice from young Jack

  • Allure of the Kennedys

Episode #12

Q: What is Joe Kennedy’s Legacy?


  • Legacy was his kids

  • Helped put together JFK’s cabinet

  • Placed RFK as Attorney General

  • Kids shaped American politics

Full Interview - Susan Ronald

Anchor 1
bottom of page