"Kennedys don't cry. And they don't write tell-all books. So this memoir breaks new ground, "-- Booklist
A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption
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Born into enormous privilege as well as burdened by gut-
wrenching family tragedy, Christopher Kennedy Lawford now
shares his life story, offering a rare glimpse into the
private worlds of the rich and famous of both Washington
politics and the Hollywood elite. A triumphantly inspiring
memoir, the first from a Kennedy family member since Rose
Kennedy's 1974 autobiography, Lawford's Symptoms of
Withdrawal tells the bittersweet truth about life
inside America's greatest family legacy.
As the firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor Peter
Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, sister to John F. Kennedy,
Christopher Kennedy Lawford grew up with presidents and
movie stars as close relatives and personal friends.
Lawford recalls Marilyn Monroe teaching him to dance the
twist in his living room when he was still a toddler, being
awakened late at night by his uncle Jack to hear him
announce his candidacy for president, being perched atop a
high-roller craps table in Las Vegas while Frank Sinatra
and his Rat Pack swapped jokes and threw dice, and other
treasured memories of his youth as part of America's royal
In spite of this seemingly idyllic childhood, Lawford's
early life was marked by the traumatic assassinations of
his beloved uncles Jack and Bobby, and he soon succumbed to
the burgeoning drug scene of the 1970s during his teen
years. With compelling realism mixed with equal doses of
self-deprecating wit, youthful bravado, and hard-earned
humility, Symptoms of Withdrawal chronicles
Lawford's deep and long descent into near-fatal drug and
alcohol addiction, and his subsequent formidable path back
to the sobriety he has preserved for the past twenty years.
Symptoms of Withdrawal is a poignantly honest
portrayal of Lawford's life as a Kennedy, a journey
overflowing with hilarious insider anecdotes, heartbreaking
accounts of Lawford's addictions to narcotics as well as to
celebrity and, ultimately, the redemption he found by
asserting his own independence.
In this groundbreakingly courageous and exceptionally well-
written memoir, Lawford steps forward to rise above the
buried pain that first led to his addiction, and today
lives mindfully by his time-tested mantra: "We are only as
sick as the secrets we keep." Symptoms of Withdrawal
keeps no secrets and is a compelling testament to the power
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