Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $43.89

Buy Now for $43.89

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed biographer Susan Ronald reveals the truth about Joseph P. Kennedy's shockingly controversial tenure as ambassador to Great Britain on the eve of World War II.

On February 18, 1938, Joseph P. Kennedy was sworn in as US Ambassador to the Court of St. James. To say his appointment to the most prestigious and strategic diplomatic post in the world shocked the establishment was an understatement: Known for his profound Irish roots and staunch Catholicism, not to mention his “plain-spoken” opinions and womanizing, he was a curious choice as Europe hurtled toward war. 

Initially welcomed by the British, in less than two short years, Kennedy was loathed by the White House, the State Department, and the British Government. Believing firmly that Fascism was the inevitable wave of the future, he consistently misrepresented official US foreign policy internationally as well as direct instructions from FDR himself. The Americans were the first to disown him, and the British and the Nazis used Kennedy to their own ends.

Through meticulous research and many newly available sources, Ronald confirms in impressive detail what has long been believed by many: that Kennedy was a Fascist sympathizer and an anti-Semite whose only loyalty was to his family's advancement. She also reveals the ambitions of the Kennedy dynasty during this period abroad, as they sought to enter the world of high-society London and establish themselves as America’s first family. Thorough and utterly engrossing, The Ambassador explores a darker side of the Kennedy patriarch in an account sure to generate attention and controversy. 

©2021 Susan Ronald (P)2021 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Ambassador

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mike From Mesa
  • Mike From Mesa
  • 02-09-2021

Needs a bit of editing

I have been reading books about World War Two since I was in my late teens and I am now familiar with the lead up to the start of the war in both the Pacific and European Theaters. In particular I have become familiar with the period from Hitler’s appointment of Chancellor of Germany through the end of the war in Europe, but in all of that reading I never found much about the actions of Joe Kennedy as US Ambassador to Great Britain other than some basic information that he was perceived as pro-Fascist and a defeatist. Given that Roosevelt was neither of those things I always wondered by he appointed Kennedy in the first place and never replaced him before Britain declared war on Germany. This book explained much of that as well as a lot more.

In my opinion there is much to recommend this book. It is full of details of Kennedy’s actions during his appointment, both those in accordance with US Government policy and opposed and explained to me much that I never knew before - Kennedy was an intimate friend of Chamberlain and privy to a great many government secrets, he met repeatedly with German envoys and did not tell the US State Department or the President of his actions, and he was actively trying to secure the nomination as President or Vice President leading up to the 1940 election. However there are also some things that I found to be issues in this book, and at least one that is an issue for the audio version.

I would have thought that a book about the period from 1938 through 1940 would be devoid of any references to Donald Trump, considering that it is supposed to be a serious book on the period, but instead the author has indulged in some meaningless virtue signaling by commenting that Hitler was attempting to Make Germany Great Again. This kind of silliness should be beneath the author of any serious book andit seems to me that it cheapens the book. In addition the author repeats the claim that if Great Britain had been willing to come to an agreement with the Soviet Union prior to the Munich Agreement then Hitler would have faced a war on two fronts. Since the Soviet Union did not have a common border with Germany and since every Eastern European country that did border on Germany had refused to allow Soviet troops passage it is difficult to see how the Soviet Union could have attacked Germany in any meaningful way. In fact one member of the Polish government, which was Hitler’s next target, had said that losing a war to Hitler would cost Poland its freedom but allowing Soviet troops entry would cost Poland its soul.

The comment about the audio book itself is that I wished that the narrator, who otherwise did a splendid job, had learned how to pronounce Alexander Cadogan’s name and since he was an important member of the British government he was mentioned frequently and the repeated mis-pronunciation was annoying.

Other than those things this is a very good book and I would have given it 5 stars without the issues I mentioned. With them I felt that 3.5 stars was appropriate, but since I can not do that I gave it 4 stars. Even with its flaws the book is very informative.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Greb
  • Greb
  • 10-08-2021

One entire book

A whole book to confirm that Joe Kennedy was a Hitler sympathizing whoremonger. What a disgusting animal.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Phyllis  Lowry
  • Phyllis Lowry
  • 08-09-2021

EXCELLENT IN EVERY RESPECT

Well researched. Refreshing honest retrospective. should be required reading for all diplomats, political and trained.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark Hull
  • Mark Hull
  • 25-08-2021

Superb

Exceptionally well-written and equally well-read. Both the story itself and the melodious narration made me anxious to find the time to continue listening. And thinking about what I heard.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-08-2021

An enlightening chapter “on the Kennedy’s”

You may learn more than you might think by listening to this well written and well preformed story about the time Joe Kennedy spent as America’s Ambassador in England.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.