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The Fourth K is a novel by Mario Puzo, published in 1990. It is set during the Presidency of fictional "Francis Xavier Kennedy," nephew of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Edward Kennedy.

The Fourth K
first edition
AuthorMario Puzo
CountryUnited States
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages479 pp
813/.54 20
LC ClassPS3566.U9 F68 1990
Preceded byThe Sicilian 
Followed byThe Last Don 

Plot summaryEdit

President Francis Xavier Kennedy is elected to office, in large part, thanks to the legacy of his forebears–good looks, privilege, wealth–and is the very embodiment of youthful optimism. Too soon, however, he is beaten down by the political process and, disabused of his ideals, becomes a leader totally unlike what he has been before.

When his daughter becomes a pawn in a brutal terrorist plot, Kennedy, who has obsessively kept alive the memory of his uncles’ assassinations, activates all his power to retaliate in a series of violent measures. As the explosive events unfold, the world and those closest to him look on with both awe and horror. The novel's emphasis is on the characters. The reader learns about a character's background when they have to make a major decision. Critics have stated that, once the book has focused on a particular character, they are relegated to the background and never again return to prominence.

Mario Puzo has stated: "The Fourth K was a [commercial] failure—but it was my most ambitious book." [1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Fourth K". The Official Mario Puzo Library. Retrieved 2008-07-07.