A month before his death, Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy discussed the making of his memoir, True Compass . This interview was conducted via e-mail in July 2009.
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: For as long as I can remember, I had planned to write my memoirs. I wanted to tell the story of my life and describe some of the history I've witnessed and been part of. I'm a student of history, a lifelong reader, so I've always thought it would be the right thing to do at the right time.
In 2004, I began an extensive series of interviews at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. They've undertaken the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project, covering my life and career. As I prepared for the interviews, I looked at more than 50 years of contemporaneous personal notes that I'd kept along the way. And as the process of the interviews evolved, I reflected more and more deeply on aspects of my life and experiences. I felt it was time to begin writing my memoirs.