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HomeEventsDangerous Friends: How The Friendship with Joe McCarthy Blighted the Lives of John & Robert Kennedy

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Dangerous Friends: How The Friendship with Joe McCarthy Blighted the Lives of John & Robert Kennedy

Prize-winning author David Nasaw explores a complex friendship between the Kennedy men – Joe, Jack and Bobby – that began in the early 1950s and included jobs, money, romance and politics.

Nasaw weaves the story into Senate and White House deliberations during McCarthy’s “reign of terror” investigating alleged communism in America. The influence of that friendship still reverberates today.

This lecture was part of a series sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia entitled “Trust No One: Joe McCarthy and the Politics of Fear.”

David Nasaw is an American author, biographer and historian who specializes in the cultural and social history of early 20th Century America. He recently retired from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he was the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History. He has written the definitive biographies of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph P. Kennedy, and most recently, “The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War” ( He holds a PhD from Columbia University.

This will be an online event hosted via Zoom Conferencing. You do not need a Zoom account but you will need to download and install the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device to join the event. Please email us at in advance if you need assistance installing the Zoom app. If you cannot join the event using your computer or mobile device and the Zoom app, you can join the event via teleconference and hear the audio portion. You will receive an email a day or so before the event with a link to the meeting, the Meeting ID, call-in telephone numbers and instructions for joining the meeting.

Please register through our website by clicking the Register Now on the right. Directions for Self Registration can be found here. You can also register by emailing, or calling 215-925-7333. This program is free of charge to our members and volunteers. Guests may attend up to three programs before being asked to join and/or volunteer with Penn’s Village.

Penn’s Village welcomes and actively encourages an inclusive and diverse community of members, staff, Board of Directors and volunteers. Inclusiveness and diversity mean welcoming all and excluding no one because of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social-economic status, physical abilities, religious beliefs or political beliefs.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM
A Zoom meeting link is included in the confirmation and reminder emails.

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