Author John Kennedy Reminds Us to Never Stop Believing in The American Dream in New Book


While traveling to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, for a family funeral some time ago, the somber occasion steered John Kennedy towards the cemetery which was the final resting place of several other family members so he could pay his respects.

Among the tombstones, a twenty-foot-high monument marked the grave of his industrious great-grandparents, Patrick and Mary Maher Kennedy, who established their legacy in Youngstown in 1879. Their wealth and influence were mirrored in the grandeur of their monument, standing tall among the rest.

Three hundred yards away rested John’s grandfather, Jim Kennedy, who, although he could not match his father’s success, had a modest but respectable tombstone. The stark disparity between the two stones quite obviously showed the family’s economic regression.

Five hundred feet away was John’s father, Lawrence Kennedy, and while he was remembered by his family and community as a charming and widely adored man, was also someone who wasn’t able to uphold the family’s enterprising legacy. Lawrence’s grave, marked by a flat, small stone, was visual representation of the significant decline in the family’s fortunes.

This opening scene in businessman and former politician John Kennedy’s new memoirBack on Track” paints a picture of a family who has traveled up and down the socio-economic ladder over the generations, but also begs some vital questions to the reader – what are we leaving for our posterity once we pass? What is worth continuing and remembering?

The heart of the book, however, isn’t necessarily about Kennedy’s exploration of his family’s wealth and social standing, built over a century and a half and busted within just within a few generations. The true nature of the book is Kennedy’s own story of rise, fall, and rise again, against the backdrop of his own life marred with his own success and failures, all while pursuing the American ideal of rugged individualism and personal and professional success.

From his humble beginnings as the progeny of Irish Catholic immigrants, to creating the massively successful Kennedy Railroad Builders and pushing for pro-free market policies within the state house in Pennsylvania, this memoir is Kennedy’s attempt to show his descendants and others who will read it that the American dream is still alive and true, even during the darkest hours of our lives.

RELATED: Conservative Christian Star Kirk Cameron Warns ‘Parents Need To Rescue Their Kids’ From Wokeism

Timeless Truths

While this story highlights much of his time in the railroad construction industry and the political battles he faced while serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, it also focuses on his struggles with alcoholism, which came to a crossroads several decades ago. Kennedy was faced with the decision by a medical professional and close friend who asked him whether he wanted to continue on the road he was on to an early death, or choose to fight his addiction and potentially live to see old age.

It was then that he embraced sobriety and remained steadfast, turning around his life permanently and even rediscovering his Christian faith, which he shared with his family. This feat served as a guiding compass for his family, instilling invaluable direction. Consequently, this marked the transition from a life that was once squandered, to one imbued with peace and purpose.

Kennedy’s writings consistently reflect his stoic mindset rooted in generational values. However, amidst his profound stoicism, he dedicates significant attention to emphasizing the significance of mentors and guides throughout the various stages of his life. What truly captivates readers is his remarkable sincerity and humility when delving into the triumphs and tribulations he faced as both an entrepreneur and a civic leader.

Particularly compelling is his journey of ascending the ranks in the realms of business and politics, only to renounce the glittering allure of the privileged class and the trappings of political power. Furthermore, readers will be struck by his candid account of enduring the tumultuous collapse of his hard-earned fortune in his sixties, followed by the arduous task of rebuilding an entire company and succeeding at doing so from scratch once more.

RELATED: The Five Books Every Conservative Needs On Their Bookshelf

A True American Story

As Americans across the country face another period of difficult economic circumstances, massive political disillusionment, and question whether or not the ideals our country was founded on still endure, “Back on Track” forces us to step back and look at the cyclical nature that life can have, as well as examine the pursuit of the American dream through the eyes of an individual who has lived many lives within his singular lifetime.

Above all, what I appreciated when reading this book was Kennedy’s emphasis on leaving his children with the values and work ethic he developed through many years of trial and error, thankfully raising them to be successful businessmen and contributing citizens in their own rights.

While there are many stories discussing one’s pursuit of the American dream, it is always refreshing to encounter a new one, especially when the culture and media force you to question whether or not it was simply a trapping of the past, or a dream that lives on regardless of the age.

“Back on Track” by John Kennedy is available now wherever books are sold.

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”

Mentioned in this article::