06/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Dies": Excerpt From New Book

Senator Edward Kennedy's diagnosis of brain cancer, in May 2008, touched off an extraordinary medical battle--and a veiled rivalry over who might succeed him as symbolic head of America's fabled dynasty. Would it be R.F.K.'s oldest son, Joe? J.F.K.'s daughter, Caroline? Or the senator's second wife, Victoria? An excerpt from the new book Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died reveals the family's shifting dynamics, the confrontation that led Caroline to drop her political bid, and the triumphant, grueling winter of the last Kennedy brother.

Read more on Vanity Fair