Overview

In this gripping memoir, John F. Kennedy's closest advisor recounts in full for the first time his experience counseling Kennedy through the most dramatic moments in American history.

Sorensen returns to January 1953, when he and the freshman senator from Massachusetts began their extraordinary professional and personal relationship. Rising from legislative assistant to speechwriter and advisor, the young lawyer from Nebraska worked closely with JFK on his most important ...

See more details below
Counselor

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

In this gripping memoir, John F. Kennedy's closest advisor recounts in full for the first time his experience counseling Kennedy through the most dramatic moments in American history.

Sorensen returns to January 1953, when he and the freshman senator from Massachusetts began their extraordinary professional and personal relationship. Rising from legislative assistant to speechwriter and advisor, the young lawyer from Nebraska worked closely with JFK on his most important speeches, as well as his book Profiles in Courage. Sorensen encouraged the junior senator's political ambitions—from a failed bid for the vice presidential nomination in 1956 to the successful presidential campaign in 1960, after which he was named Special Counsel to the President.

Sorensen describes in thrilling detail his experience advising JFK during some of the most crucial days of his presidency, from the decision to go to the moon to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when JFK requested that the thirty-four-year-old Sorensen draft the key letter to Khrushchev at the most critical point of the world's first nuclear confrontation. After Kennedy was assassinated, Sorensen stayed with President Johnson for a few months before leaving to write a biography of JFK. In 1968 he returned to Washington to help run Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. Through it all, Sorensen never lost sight of the ideals that brought him to Washington and to the White House, working tirelessly to promote and defend free, peaceful societies.

Illuminating, revelatory, and utterly compelling, Counselor is the brilliant, long-awaited memoir from the remarkable man who shaped the presidency and the legacy of one of the greatest leaders America has ever known.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061732621
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 225,597
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ted Sorensen

Ted Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and after law school moved to Washington, D.C., where he would ultimately work for John F. Kennedy. He left the White House soon after JFK's death, and in 1966 joined a New York City law firm, where, as a prominent international lawyer, he advised governments, multinational organizations, and major corporations around the world. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History. Sorensen remained active in political and international issues until his death in 2010.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Counselor

Chapter One

Roots

I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, on the morning of May 8, 1928, Harry Truman's forty-fourth birthday. Harry took no notice of my arrival, being a busy county judge in Missouri at the time. More than twenty years later, I would make my way to Washington, D.C., where my first employer was the federal government over which he presided.

I was born in a Catholic hospital, where my Jewish mother, Annis Chaikin Sorensen, valued the loving care of the nuns on the hospital staff. My father, Christian A. Sorensen ("C.A."), an insurgent Republican making his first run for public office that year, wrote to the head of America's "Hoover Booster Clubs": "Our family was increased this morning by another son. I am going to have a Republican club of my own." A journalist friend, referring to my birth as well as my father's campaign, wrote him from Ohio: "That, properly press-agented, ought to be good for a few thousand extra votes."

There was no christening or baptism rite in the Unitarian Church which my parents attended. I was named at birth Theodore Chaikin Sorensen. Theodore Roosevelt, decades earlier, had led the progressive wing of the Republican Party to which my father belonged. When I was three years old I received a letter from Theodore Roosevelt Jr., the result of a chance encounter between him and my father; it noted that he and I had both been named for the same great man. "From the commotion that the letter caused in the Sorensen household," C.A. wrote back, "[little Ted] knew that something unusual had happened which some way or other involved him."

My mother, a pacifist who did not approveof Teddy Roosevelt's resort to military means for semi-imperialist objectives, always insisted that I was named not for the hero of San Juan Hill, but for the Greek words meaning "gift from God." An early feminist, she also insisted that her children receive her maiden name in addition to our father's last name—and the five of us were Chaikin Sorensen ever since; two names sufficiently unusual that we all became accustomed to misspellings. Books, newspapers, and magazines continue to do so; the New York Times has misspelled my name more than a hundred times in headlines and articles over the past fifty years. My mother's successor as editor of the University Journal, noting upon her departure that "Annis Chaiken resigned to become Mrs. C. A. Sorenson," misspelled both her maiden and her married name in the same sentence.

Throughout my life, I have reflected on my good luck; but never was I more fortunate than on the day of my birth. Among the hundreds of thousands of babies born that day, I won what my fellow Nebraskan Warren Buffett has called the "great genetic lottery." My friend Khododad Farmanfarmaian was born that same day on the opposite side of the world, in Persia. He was ultimately forced to flee for his life from his native country, hidden in a Kurdish hay wagon. I was born into a country protected by the rule of law.

I was raised by parents who were healthy, intelligent, college educated—and determined to see their children be the same. I was also fortunate to have been born in Nebraska. The city of Lincoln in my youth was small, lovely, and quaint; full of parks, stone churches, low buildings, small shops, and shaded streets. Although Iheard rumors in grade school from older boys about an establishment called "Ma Kelly's," Lincoln was a wholesome place in which to grow up, the kind of small-town environment now seemingly gone forever. It was a city "in the middle of everywhere," as one Nebraska roadside sign proclaims. That message was confirmed for me as a small boy on a drive through central Nebraska with my parents, when we came upon a sign with two arrows, one pointing east, reading "New York World's Fair, 1,454 miles," and the other pointing west, reading "San Francisco World's Fair, 1,454 miles."

Even after I moved to Washington, D.C., and thereafter traveled the world over, from Fujairah to Bujumbura, from Skopje to Singapore, I always cherished the city of my birth—the safe, peaceful, predictable environment that nurtured my childhood and laid the foundation of my life and career. Of all the cities in which I have lived—Lincoln, Washington, Boston, and New York—the air, water, and politics were always cleaner in Lincoln.

I have occasionally wondered: Can a political career be affected by the name of one's hometown? Hope? Independence? What I do know is that growing up in a city named for Abraham Lincoln, whose stately statue stood by the state capitol in front of a wall on which his Gettysburg Address was inscribed, intensified my interest in the man, his life, and his speeches—speeches I have been quoting ever since.

Nebraska remains in my heart the wonderful home that shaped so much of my youthful outlook. In those halcyon days, Nebraskans spoke plainly, dressed plainly, and opposed elites and sophisticates of any kind. They were mostly middle class withmiddle-of-the-road views, isolationists increasingly interested in stable overseas markets for Nebraska crops, churchgoers who supported traditional church-state separation (except for school prayer), community-minded pragmatists and businessmen who were skeptical of the far right as well as the far left, and opposed to big spending by politicians. They did not like politicians of either party who showed too little concern about truly big issues but hypocritically expressed too much concern over trivial issues.

Yet Nebraska produced a host of political leaders with the courage to challenge conventional thinking—from the fiery political iconoclast and religious conservative William Jennings Bryan, to the civil rights leader Malcolm X, to Herbert Brownell and J. Lee Rankin of the Eisenhower Justice Department, who helped put courageous pro–civil rights judges on federal courts in the South.

But the best known Nebraskan of all was not in politics—the late Johnny Carson. Johnny and I attended the University of Nebraska in the 1940s, where he was known campus-wide for his magic and ventriloquism acts. My brother Tom thought Johnny the brightest prospect in the Beginning Journalism class Tom taught. As graduation neared, Tom suggested that Johnny come work for him at the local radio station where Tom was news director. "Gee thanks, Mr. Sorensen," Johnny replied, "but I thought I would try Hollywood." "Hollywood?" Tom retorted in disbelief. "I'm talking about $55 a week!"

Counselor. Copyright ? by Ted Sorensen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Ted Sorenson, "Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History" and a defense of Camelot

    Ted Sorenson was perhaps the ultimate insider in the Kennedy Whitehouse, crafting virtually all of John Kennedy's most memorable speeches. Sorenson certainly has a valuable and compelling story to tell of his 11 years with JFK from his entry into politics in the 1950s to his untimely death in November, 1963. In this book Sorenson shows himself a staunch defender of the legacy of JFK and the Camelot mystique (or myth). More than perhaps any other book on the subject, Sorenson conveys the warmth and wit of John Kennedy. But it does have its faults and limits - Sorenson's frequent lofty praise of the ideals, integrity and altruism of JFK is nearly to the point of delusion. He gives scant credence to recent critics of the policies and actions of the Kennedy administration. He notes early in the book that JFK lead a very compartmentalized life which he, Sorenson, admits to knowing only certain parts of. He does not seem to realize that this fact ultimately hurts his credibility in defending the Kennedy administration on various points. Sorenson's rather shallow coverage of other members of the Kennedy family is largely confined to his limited interactions with them. While Sorenson does delve into some of the controversies around the JFK administration, his objectivity and span of knowledge is suspect. In some cases he clearly exaggerates the accomplishments of the JFK administration such as in how JFK "boldly transformed " NASA into a successful program. In actuality, Kennedy's goal of putting a man on the moon was both hazardous and skipped a number of intermediate steps that were crucial to a long-term process of space exploration. Sorenson states repeatedly that Kennedy did not send one combat soldier into Viet Nam although this is a moot point given that US advisors in Viet Nam were routinely in combat operations and a growing number became casualties (all known to JFK). The righteous and peaceful world that Sorenson thinks would have resulted had JFK lived and been elected to a second term, as compelling as it sounds, seems less a verdict of history and more the high hopes of a unfailing JFK admirer, undiminished by the passing of over 45 years. I would strongly encourage the reader of this book to take it for what it is worth, a memoir or personal reflection of sorts, and not as an essentially history of the Kennedy years (told much better by others.)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 11, 2009

    Great reading for a Kennedy-era admirer

    I've long been a student of the inner workings of politics, and the Kennedy administration in particular. This book is a great chronicle of that time, providing insight into the White House and one of Kennedy's most trusted advisors. While Sorensen admits his bias toward Kennedy, he still does his best to give an honest account of that time. I came away an ever greater admirer of Sorensen for his integrity and principles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)