Mahoney, Richard D. 1952-
MAHONEY, Richard D. 1952-
PERSONAL: Born 1952, in Phoenix, AZ; son of William P. (a lawyer and ambassador) Mahoney. Education: Princeton University, B.A.; Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Ph.D.; Arizona State University, J.D. Politics: Democrat
CAREER: Former John F. Kennedy Scholar, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; former professor of international studies, Arizona State University; Thunderbird (American Graduate School of International Management), professor emeritus. Visiting professor at Templeton College, Oxford; John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Beijing Institute of Foreign Trade; and Universidad del Pacifico, Quito, Ecuador. Elected secretary of state of Arizona, 1990; candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona, 1994, 2002; chief speechwriter for presidential campaigns of Gary Hart and Paul Simon. Founder, Nuestra Familia. Producer of documentary film, Strong at the Broken Places.
Pétalos (poems), Editorial Tulum (Mexico City, Mexico), 1995, bilingual edition, University of Phoenix Press (Phoenix, AZ), 1995.
Sons and Brothers: The Days of Jack and BobbyKennedy, Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 1999.
Getting away with Murder: The Real Story behindAmerican Taliban John Walker Lindh and What the U.S. Government Had to Hide, Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor of articles on presidential history, foreign policy, international trade, and politics to scholarly and popular periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: Richard D. Mahoney is a fourth-generation Arizonan and a specialist in foreign policy and the history of the John F. Kennedy administration. His eclectic career includes teaching positions at the University of Massachusetts and Arizona State University, a term as secretary of state of Arizona, and serving as a speechwriter and consultant to presidential candidates Gary Hart and Paul Simon. Fluent in Spanish, Mahoney has served as a visiting professor in Ecuador, and he has published a book of poems, Pétalos, in Spanish. He is perhaps best known, however, for his books on the Kennedy brothers and his monographs on foreign policy and international trade.
Mahoney's two books on the Kennedy administration are JFK: Ordeal in Africa and Sons and Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. While the former is a more scholarly work, the latter offers portraits of John F. and Robert Kennedy, their relationship with one another, and the strong influence their father exerted in their professional and personal lives. Library Journal contributor Karl Helicher felt that Sons and Brothers offers "a lucid investigation of the devotion between the brothers." Ilene Cooper, writing in Booklist, similarly styled the book a "nuanced portrait of the brothers," while a Publishers Weekly critic maintained that the work "proves that the lives and deaths of John F. and Robert F. Kennedy remain as compelling now as they were throughout the turbulent 1960s."
Among Mahoney's other works are the book Getting away with Murder: The Real Story behind American Taliban John Walker Lindh and the film documentary Strong at the Broken Places, which he produced. Both of these projects deal with America's war on terrorism. In Getting away with Murder, Mahoney examines the case of American citizen John Walker Lindh, who was captured while fighting alongside Muslim extremists, and extrapolates from Lindh's case about the role the United States has played in arming and supporting Taliban fighters. Strong at the Broken Places highlights the similarities between the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, principally through the eyes of former U.S. Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam veteran who lost three limbs in that conflict. The documentary Mahoney has produced challenges the way in which the George W. Bush administration handled the war in Iraq, partly by illuminating the treatment of the wounded and dead soldiers being sent back to America. Mahoney noted on NIEWorld.com: "We've heard so much about this war from the standpoint of people inside the Beltway playing the political game. I felt . . . there was another story—the story of soldiers and their families who pay the sacrifice, in some cases the ultimate sacrifice."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Sons and Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, p. 2017.
Library Journal, July, 1999, Karl Helicher, review of Sons and Brothers, p. 115.
Publishers Weekly, June 28, 1999, review of Sons &Brothers, p. 62; May 17, 2004, review of Getting away with Murder: The Real Story behind American Taliban John Walker Lindh, p. 47.
NIEWorld.com,http://www.nieworld.com/ (December 16, 2004), "Cleland Documentary Compares Vietnam, Iraq."
Richard D. Mahoney Home Page,http://www.richarddmahoney.com (January 3, 2005).*