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Kennedy considering writing book on his career

Kennedy on TV last weekend. Kennedy on TV last weekend. (CBS)

NEW YORK - Senator Edward Kennedy has held preliminary discussions with publishers about writing a book on his career, an adviser to the senator told the Associated Press yesterday.

Kennedy, whose books in recent years include a policy work and a children's story, has retained Washington, D.C., lawyer Robert Barnett. Barnett's many literary clients include former president Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan.

"After many years of being requested to do so, and after writing several other books in recent years, Senator Kennedy has decided to consider the possibility of writing a book about his career and his views about some of the most critical historical events in modern times," said Kennedy adviser Stephanie Cutter.

"When and if the time comes, we'll announce further details."

Asked if the book might go beyond his Senate record into such personal history as the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, Cutter said, "there have only been a few preliminary meetings."

"It's premature to even describe the book. It doesn't exist yet," she said.

According to Cutter, the immediate inspiration for a possible book was an oral history project about Kennedy's public life that was launched in 2004 in conjunction with the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. The project will include interviews with the senator, family members, colleagues, journalists, foreign leaders, and others.

Cutter said the project "refocused his attention on the enormous progress we've made in civil rights, equal opportunity, and justice, as well as the critical challenges we face in the future."

Despite his obvious interest in his own record, Kennedy, 75, has no plans to retire, Cutter said, pointing out that he was reelected last year. The Massachusetts Democrat is the reigning patriarch of one of the country's most famous, and tragic, political dynasties.

He has served in the Senate since 1962, emerging as a leading legislator and voice of liberalism while enduring the deaths of his brothers and numerous other personal trials.

"People would certainly want to hear what he has to say; among the Kennedys still living, he is one of the few who can go back into the relationships to his two brothers," said historian Robert Dallek, who has written a best-selling biography of President Kennedy.

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