Biography Or Soap Opera?

A forthcoming volume on Teddy Kennedy draws some fire for creating the thoughts and words of its subject

When a book makes headlines months before its scheduled release, the publisher and author can normally uncross their fingers and alert their accountants. Is such euphoria warranted even when the headlines are rotten? That question concerns Simon & Schuster and Joe McGinniss, the best-selling writer (The Selling of the President, 1968; Fatal Vision) whose forthcoming biography of Edward M. Kennedy, The Last Brother, has been prompting a blizzard of bad news. Biographic License? headlined the Washington Post. The New York Times put the matter, bluntly, on its front page: Kennedy Quotes in New Book Are Invented.

The stir was triggered by...

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