Kennedy

Kennedy

Kennedy

Kennedy

Synopsis

This invaluable account provides an excellent introduction to the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. To understand Kennedy's aims and achievements in the White House, it looks at Kennedy the man and outlines his background and early career and the influences upon him. Hugh Brogan shows Kennedy as a credible statesman, a man of solid achievement. His record as President was, broadly, impressive and would have been more so had he lived.

Excerpt

‘Profiles in Power.’ Irresistibly (for all I know, intentionally) the title of this series calls to mind Profiles in Courage, the book for which John Fitzgerald Kennedy was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1957. The echo suggests his unquestionable entitlement to a place in a catalogue which also includes Elizabeth I, Cardinal Richelieu and David Lloyd George; but in fact it is far from self-evident. As President of the United States Kennedy undoubtedly wielded great power, as much as the modern world can give to anybody, perhaps as much as anybody has exercised in all history; but it was his so briefly! Only two years and ten months separated his inauguration as President of the United States from his murder; as Theodore Sorensen said bitterly on hearing the dreadful news, ‘they wouldn’t even give him three years.’1 Of the forty presidents, only six have served shorter terms than Kennedy’s; only two in the twentieth century have done so (Harding and Ford: not names with which Kennedy would care to be associated). At his inauguration he said, ‘Let us begin’; his successor, on inheriting his office, said, ‘Let us continue’; but while it is clear that Kennedy finished little, it is not obvious that he started much. The great affairs of his time, it might be urged, were well advanced before he came to power. He passed his years in the presidency learning his job and mastering the issues, but was cut down before he could prove what he had learned or put it to use. I do not accept this view, but I have tried to face it. A profile can only be a sketch. Short though Kennedy’s life was, it was crammed with incident and great events, many of which I have had to leave out entirely. Readers wanting a full account will have to look elsewhere. But it has been my . . .
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