Customer Reviews for

Profiles in Courage

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Ghostwritten

Great book, but very ironic how this book about political integrity was never really written by JFK. It was most likely ghostwritten by his speechwriter, Ted Sorensen. Not to mention all the strings Joe Kennedy pulled to get his boy the Pulitzer...

posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2000

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

It's okay

I listened to this on audio cassette. As I began listening to it, I began to wonder if it would have even gotten published if the author had been John Doe. I did come away from listening to the book admiring President Kennedy's extensive vocabulary. Also, John Jr.'s r...
I listened to this on audio cassette. As I began listening to it, I began to wonder if it would have even gotten published if the author had been John Doe. I did come away from listening to the book admiring President Kennedy's extensive vocabulary. Also, John Jr.'s reading of it seemed to lack spirit. With one exception, I though it was informative but not that interesting. The one part that was extremely interesting was the part about Edmund G. Ross. That section was breathtaking. It was Edmund G. Ross's vote who kept Andrew Johnson in office after Lincoln's assasination. If Senator Ross had voted differently, the politicians who wanted to treat the South as vanquished territories would have been in power. If that had happened, would the United States be what it is today?

posted by Anonymous on September 4, 2005

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    interesting account of important historical persons and events

    What is courage? And how does one express it in the political realm? Politicians have a rather bad reputation, and some of it is deserved, but all of it is not. Before he became President, while serving in the United States Senate, John F. Kennedy wrote this book to chronicle the lives of eight United States Senators from history who showed courage by following their consciences in opposition to their party, their section, or even prevailing public opinion. Kennedy does not argue whether they were right or wrong in their beliefs and actions. In fact, some of them took exactly opposition positions on certain issues from others. But what Kennedy wished to emphasize is that we do not necessarily have to agree with people to admire the courage that it took for them to stand up for what they thought was right.
    The list includes John Quincy Adams, later President, who in opposition to his Federalist party voted for the Embargo Bill to keep English ships from attacking American ones; Daniel Webster who set aside his own opposition to slavery to support the Compromise of 1850 which effectively gave the North more time to prepare for the Civil War; Thomas Hart Benton who supported the Union in spite of the fact that his state of Missouri was a slave-holding state and thus helped keep Missouri from seceding; Sam Houston who also supported the Union in spite of the fact that his state of Texas was a slave state and later when it did secede was ousted as governor at the time; Edmund G. Ross who voted not to remove Andrew Johnson from office; Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a southerner who tried to heal the breach between North and South caused by the Civil War; George W. Norris, a progressive Republican who opposed his party on many issues in the early twentieth century; and Robert A. Taft who objected to the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.
    One may not agree with all the political principles which Kennedy sets forth in the first chapter, but he still makes some interesting and important points. Unfortunately, he includes a number of quotations in which some form of the "d" word is found and the term "God" is used as an interjection. Otherwise, it is an enlightening account of important historical people and events. In the 1960s a television series entitled Profiles in Courage was made, using seven of the eight examples cited by Kennedy (Lamar was excluded, perhaps because he had fought for the South during the Civil War) and adding several others. It's generally conceded today that Kennedy had much to do with the opening and closing chapters of the book, but Dr. Jules Davids and Ted Sorensen, later an assistant to President Kennedy, contributed most of what lies between. It still won a Pulitzer Prize.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    How Inspirational!

    I was sitting in Barnes & Noble, waiting for my friend to arrive. She lives far from me, and B&N is a half-way point for us. Anyway, on my way to the chairs in the back, where I was planning to sit down and read "The Princess Diaries", I saw this book in the little bargain section. I love JFK and I'd heard of the book, so I decided to pick it up and read it instead. I loved every minute of it. I learned about some politicians who I'd never heard of (Ross is a good example), and I couldn't help but feel inspired to always stand up for what I believe in. It also reminded me of the reasons I admire Mr. Kennedy as a president, despite the fact that I'm both 16 and a conservative Republican. The book showed exactly what made him great, and reminded me of all the reasons our country is great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2005

    It's okay

    I listened to this on audio cassette. As I began listening to it, I began to wonder if it would have even gotten published if the author had been John Doe. I did come away from listening to the book admiring President Kennedy's extensive vocabulary. Also, John Jr.'s reading of it seemed to lack spirit. With one exception, I though it was informative but not that interesting. The one part that was extremely interesting was the part about Edmund G. Ross. That section was breathtaking. It was Edmund G. Ross's vote who kept Andrew Johnson in office after Lincoln's assasination. If Senator Ross had voted differently, the politicians who wanted to treat the South as vanquished territories would have been in power. If that had happened, would the United States be what it is today?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2000

    Ghostwritten

    Great book, but very ironic how this book about political integrity was never really written by JFK. It was most likely ghostwritten by his speechwriter, Ted Sorensen. Not to mention all the strings Joe Kennedy pulled to get his boy the Pulitzer...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2013

    The book is quite interesting & absorbing & a solid cont

    The book is quite interesting & absorbing & a solid contribution to American history.  The reason for only 2 stars is that it WAS ghostwritten by Kennedy friend/speechwriter, Ted Sorensen, who admitted as much before he died.  JFK not only accepted the Pulitzer Prize for it, he said nothing about who really wrote it.  Admittedly, he supposedly did give the prize money to charity.  But his own acttions hardly qualify as a "profile in courage".

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    In our greed based society, these timeless stories of intrepidity need to be introduced to the youth of our country!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2010

    who is the author?

    Hello people, it's 2010 and I cannot believe the Kennedy's are still trying to convince the world that JFK wrote this book. It was written by Ted Sorensen. It was made an instant bestseller because Joseph Kennedy bought thousands of copies. google, google, google.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    Don't Bother

    Greatly over rated. JFK was a horrible writer,and a worse president.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    New Profiles in Courage with Caroline's Forward

    I have loved this book since my first reading sometime in the 60s. It is still just as topical as it was then and always enlightening. You can't read about these men without being inspired. And, of course, the writer is so very inspirational on his own.

    I have the editions with forward by Senator Robert Kennedy as well as the original edition. I have just added this edition to my library of Kennedy books as a very important part of my collection. Caroline's memories and her love for her father, can be heard as she writes. She is an accomplished writer on her own, and adds just the right touch to this edition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

    Not what was expected.

    Should have elaborated in depth on family history.

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book, By One Of The Greatest Presidents

    This book has inspired me to do more. John F. Kennedys' wrtting is the best. He tells it as it is and, from his own words. This book has helped me alot to think differently brfore joining the Marine Corps.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    Pay no attention to the sophmore review of 1 star

    This book is simply outstanding coming from probably the best speaker of all time, and from a man who never used a tool like a teleprompter. His words can be a little hard to understand, but only because he is a very well educated man, unlike many of the senators and congress persons of today. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2007

    Not Good At All

    I have to read this book for AP American History and it is aweful. The best part is the two introductions by Caroline Kennedy and Robert Kennedy at the beginning. His sentences are so long and every word in them seems to be overexadgerated. Sort of like he used a thesaurus to upgrade every word. It is almost inpossible to understand and is the dullest book every. Coming from me, this review is a surprise. I have always been a very advanced reader I had a 12th grade reading level in 5th grade, but even I can't understand this. I wouldn't reccomend this book to anyone. save yourself the pain. Coming from JFK, I expected 100% more from this book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2007

    heroes are always needed

    this book is a good survey of heroic minded individuals,like sam houston. although this book was a essentially written by the late arthur schlessinger jr., it is a good read and the introduction by bobby kennedy is noteworthy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2006

    Good Reading

    I think this book should be read by all congressmen and senators so they could learn where their duty resides. An outstanding book by one of history¿s most interesting statesman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2004

    Excellent Book

    Profiles in Courage is a book written by John F. Kennedy that tells stories of political courage by Senators, Congressmen and other political figures in Washington. There are nine main stories of people such as Sam Houston, John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster among others. These are stories of Senators doing what they thought was for the good of the country even if their hometown newspapers bashed them and tried to force the Senator to leave his office. This is an excellent book. Profiles in Courage tells stories many of us have never heard before about prominent historical figures. I think everyone should read this book in his or her lifetime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2003

    A Truly Inspirational Classic

    A truly inspiring classic that deserves to be read time and again by not only every school child, but by every American. Age has not dimmed it's relevance or appeal. If anything, it has only enhanced it. A must read for any thoughtful person wishing to learn the great lessons of history from the people who made it. A badly needed reminder of ideals in this age of indifference, greedy self interests, and corruption. Every home should have a copy. I have never doubted it came from the pen of one of our greatest and most courageous Presidents. Boring is the one thing it is not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2003

    The Foreward

    I have not yet completed the book, but the foreward alone is brilliant, inspiring, and shows the true love, respect, and courage of a brother, and a statesman. I am not sure yet that I will like the book, but the foreward alone is fantastic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    boring, wordy and overated

    My 14 year old had to read this book for school. I encouraged him, saying it was a popular book and after he got into it would love it. I adore all sorts of books. I started reading it and told him I understand his immense dislike of the book. It is boring, wordy, and does nothing to explain true courage. It seems to be a self serving attempt to vindicate politicians. I give it a zero actually. It is all right to admire Kennedy and not admire the book. Perhaps not separating the two is what made some people say they enjoy the book. I am a college graduate with a wide variety of interests and this appealed to none of them. I pity children forced to read it.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2002

    Great read.

    A great book that depicts many kinds of political heroes and their great feats of Courage.

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