Symptoms of Withdrawal by Christopher Kennedy Lawford


Symptoms of Withdrawal was written by JFK’s nephew, Christopher Kennedy Lawford. Chris’s mom was Pat Kennedy Lawford, JFK’s sister. His father was actor and Rat Pack member Peter Lawford.

This book is a brutally honest look at what it was like to be a part of the Kennedy family. The pressure, the media, the family relationships, the family compound, traveling around the world, and the fame, Hollywood, Camelot, sex, drugs, and alcohol. Chris covers all those topics and more and without a filter.


As privileged and rich as the Kennedy clan was and is, it was a family marred with tragedy, divorce, assassinations, overdoses, and untimely deaths. Chris shares his life story and his perspective of what it was really like. He fell into drugs and alcohol at a young age as a comping mechanism with his parents divorce and the sadness that blanketed the family with the assassinations of beloved uncles John and Bobby. He talks about the heartbreak his mom went through after losing her brothers. His mom also hit the bottle as a way to escape.

Chris became addicted to drugs and alcohol and spent a lot of the Kennedy money. He chronicles his ups and downs and how much he missed out on in life because he was high. He also watched the downward spiral of his cousin David Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy, that ended in a death at the young age of 28 from a drug overdose.


I am so interested and intrigued by this family and this book really let readers in and answered so many of my questions. I heard so many stories in this book that have not been in the media. I thought this book was so fascinating. If you’re interested in the Kennedy clan I would recommend this book to you.


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