Kennedy's Quest for Victory: American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963

Kennedy's Quest for Victory: American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963

Kennedy's Quest for Victory: American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963

Kennedy's Quest for Victory: American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963

Excerpt

In the quarter-century since John F. Kennedy’s death in that chilling November of 1963, studies of the man and his presidency have proliferated. Friends, family, and assistants have dominated the writing on Kennedy and his administration through a host of biographies, memoirs, and oral history interviews. Journalists have also offered approving yet revealing portraits of the President and his times. Although scholars have long been intrigued by the Kennedy presidency, their works, until several years ago, lacked research in archival documents—the mass of memoranda, notes, minutes, telegrams, letters, reports, and the like generated by the Kennedy team as it made its decisions.

Many of the historical documents created in the early 1960s have now become available at American libraries—opened by participants themselves or through declassification under the Freedom of Information Act and under the mandatory review procedures of the presidential libraries, including the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Some records and personal papers for the Kennedy years remain securityclassified or closed by family or individual request. Historians must do their reconstructing without all the parts. Some materials, such as those initiated by the Central Intelligence Agency, may never be released to scholars; other papers, such as Robert F. Kennedy’s diaries, although researched by at least one memoirist-biographer in the 1970s, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., may continue to rest in family hands, beyond the reach of historians for some time to come. Still . . .

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