Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America

Overview


2013 is the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination.

A narrative of Kennedy's quest to create a speech that would distill American dreams and empower a new generation, Ask Not is a beautifully detailed account of the inauguration and the weeks preceding it. During a time when America was divided, and its citizens torn by fears of war, John F. Kennedy took office and sought to do more than just reassure the American people. His speech marked the start of a brief, optimistic era....

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Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America

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Overview


2013 is the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination.

A narrative of Kennedy's quest to create a speech that would distill American dreams and empower a new generation, Ask Not is a beautifully detailed account of the inauguration and the weeks preceding it. During a time when America was divided, and its citizens torn by fears of war, John F. Kennedy took office and sought to do more than just reassure the American people. His speech marked the start of a brief, optimistic era. Thurston Clarke's portrait of JFK is balanced, revealing the president at his most dazzlingly charismatic and cunningly pragmatic.

Thurston Clarke's latest book, JFK's Last Hundred Days, is currently available in hardcover.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"JFK's inaugural has gotten the book it deserves . . . Anyone who wants to understand why this president changed all of our lives need only open these pages to see him during his finest, most captivating and memorable moments." -Strobe Talbott

"Clarke's meticulous investigation of Kennedy's inaugural address . . . stirs us again with the eloquence of Kennedy's oratory, and deepens our understanding of its place in history."
-Sally Bedell Smith, author of Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House

“Thurston Clarke has taken a brief, beautiful speech and recreated an extraordinary moment in time. He understands the power of words, the way they can animate an age and move the world.”—Evan Thomas, co-author of The Wise Men, author of John Paul Jones

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143118978
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 811,000
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Thurston Clarke has written eleven widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. He lives in upstate New York.
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Read an Excerpt



Ask Not



The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America



By Clarke, Thurston


Owl Books



Copyright © 2005

Clarke, Thurston

All right reserved.


ISBN: 080507936X



From Ask Not:
We saw, in black and white, a cloudless sky, sharp light, and air so cold it turned Kennedy's breath into white clouds. When he said, "Let the word go forth from this time and place . . . " it appeared that each word he spoke really was going forth into the exhilarating air that everyone in the nation was breathing that day.
We saw a Currier and Ives tableau, wintry and patriotic. Wind ruffled the festive bunting and the marble façade of the Capitol gleamed. Sunlight bounced off snowbanks and spectators shielded their eyes. Rows of dignitaries filled the platform. The men wore dark overcoats and top hats, outfits for tycoons and statesmen. No one imagined that Rose Kennedy was fuming over her row-end seat, or that Eleanor Roosevelt had refused her place of honor because she could not bear being close to Kennedy's father, or that there was so much bad blood between the dignitaries on this platform that if grudges had weight, the entire contraption would have crashed to the ground.
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon sat in a semicircle of armchairs. The four men's wives-all former and future First Ladies-sat behind them in the first row on either side of the podium. A faint smile remained frozen on Jackie Kennedy's face, as if she was party to some delicioussecret.


Continues...




Excerpted from Ask Not
by Clarke, Thurston
Copyright © 2005 by Clarke, Thurston.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2011

    Sometimes hard to read but technically well researched and informative

    To read 'Ask Not' and 'The Last Campaign' are really good reads on JFK and Bobby Kennedy. I highly recommend.
    Thurston Clarke is a brilliant writer and both books are researched well and cover the varying controversies of the Kennedy era.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2005

    Insightful book!

    A thouroughly insightful, enjoyable, and well-written book! I recommend it to anyone - Kennedy and non-Kennedy fans allike! It is a new take on Kennedy and contains information I haven't found elsewhere!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2005

    Okay Read

    Though insightful to the events leading up to JFK's Inaugral adress, it seemed a bit inconsequential. This book contains informative information about the language contained in the speech, but at the same time it tended to be a bit lond winded. If one is interested in Kennedy's early forigen and domestic policy, i would recomend reading it, but i wouldn't consider it a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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