John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

Synopsis

Robert Dallek's masterful John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life was a number one national bestseller, and it remains the most widely read one-volume biography of the 35th President. Now, in this marvelous short biography of John F. Kennedy, Dallek achieves a miracle of compression, capturing in a small space the essence of his renowned full-length masterpiece. Here readers will find the fascinating insights and groundbreaking revelations found in An Unfinished Life. The heart of the book focuses on Kennedy's political career, especially the presidency. The book sheds light on key foreign affairs issues such as the Bay of Pigs debacle, Khrushchev's misguided bullying of Kennedy in Vienna, the Cuban Missile crisis, the nuclear test ban, the race for space, and the initial dealings with Southeast Asia, especially Laos. It also highlights the difficulties Kennedy faced getting a domestic agenda passed, from a tax cut to spur the economy, to federal aid to education, Medicare, and civil rights. Dallek reveals the thinking behind Robert Kennedy's appointment as Attorney General and convincingly argues that Kennedy would never have expanded the war in Vietnam the way that Lyndon Johnson did. The book also addresses questions about Kennedy's assassination and concludes with his presidential legacy and why he remains so popular despite serving only a thousand days in office. Based upon the definitive biography, John F. Kennedy offers readers a concise, authoritative,and highly readable life of one of our best-loved presidents.

Excerpt

It is a common saying among historians that you write a book to forget a subject. In practice, however, it is not so easy: For me, Franklin Roosevelt, World War II, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Vietnam, all subjects I have written about, keep coming up; they echo Peter Gayle’s comment that history is argument without end.

When Susan Ferber suggested that I condense my eight-hundred-page biography of John F. Kennedy to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his inauguration as president, it became an opportunity to revisit the many questions that had originally drawn me to Kennedy, the man and the president. Why, almost fifty years after his death, does someone who served as president for only a thousand days command the continuing high regard so . . .

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