No president’s story is complete until his death—and even then, reevaluations frequently occur. In the case of a sitting or recent president, assessments are especially subject to change. In certain ways, a book or chapter on such a president resembles a first draft.
This book went to press in the summer of 2011. In the months since, more than a dozen works on the postwar presidents have appeared. None changes in any significant way the evaluation of any president’s religious faith given in these pages. In September 2011, for example, the Kennedy Library released tapes of interviews conducted with Jacqueline Kennedy several months after her husband’s assassination. Although her words would have provided color and detail, they support the revisionist interpretation of John F. Kennedy’s Roman Catholicism found in this book.
My thanks to the following alumni and students of the College of William and Mary who assisted in preparing this publication during the halfdozen years of its research and writing: Katelyn R. Browne, Jack E. Cohen, Leah R. Giles, Ann E. Glennie, Andrew E. Jungclaus, Jarrett W. Knight, Anna L. Krause, Susan M. Metallo, Wistar W. Murray, Hannah R. Perry, and Maggie E. Southwell. Additional thanks go to the staffs of the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary, the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia, and the nation’s presidential libraries.