Debating the Kennedy Presidency / Edition 1

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Despite the brevity of John F. Kennedy's presidency, its significance endures. From the Cuban Missile Crisis and the creation of the Berlin Wall to the Peace Corps and the civil rights movement, Kennedy's presidency was one of crisis and change. In Debating the Kennedy Presidency, noted scholars James N. Giglio and Stephen G. Rabe examine the successes and failures of Kennedy's foreign and domestic policies. Rabe focuses on the administration's foreign relations and argues that JFK was a relentless Cold Warrior who perpetuated the Cold War more than he resolved it. Conversely, Giglio sympathetically surveys domestic policies and defends Kennedy's record by emphasizing the constraints under which the president had to operate. The differing viewpoints of the two authors, as well as the supplementary documents, provide an ideal introduction allowing readers to examine the issues and draw their own conclusions about America's 35th president.

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Editorial Reviews

Mark T. Gilderhus
Clear, concise, and pointed, these perspectives on the Kennedy presidency by two fine historians will invite discussion and engage student interest. The documents are well chosen and illuminating. This book will work in a variety of history classes.
Burton I. Kaufman
James N. Giglio and Stephen Rabe, both eminent scholars who have studied Kennedy's administration extensively, have examined two different aspects of the administration and have come up with two very different evaluations. The result adds an interesting new dimension to the debate over the Kennedy presidency and will stir controversy and discussion among students.
Joan Hoff
James N. Giglio and Stephen Rabe have succeeded in finally presenting a balanced elucidation of the strengths and weaknesses of the attenuated administration of John F. Kennedy. Their insightful essays and selective documents demonstrate how far short JFK fell in achieving his most lauded goals and yet how he more than rose to the occasion on certain crucial foreign and domestic policy issues. Their interpretative essays stand in marked contrast to traditional scholarship about this tragic and over-sentimentalized presidency.
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman
Love him or hate him, John F. Kennedy remains one of the most enigmatic, compelling, and debated American presidents. Stephen Rabe and James Giglio wage war for the hearts and minds of scholars, students, and the public in this powerful new book. Their insightful arguments speak to the profound issues of the sixties, as well as to today.
Library Journal
Two extended essays are presented here, with Rabe (The Most Dangerous Area in the World: John F. Kennedy Confronts Communist Revolution in Latin America) focusing on President Kennedy's foreign policy and Giglio (The Presidency of John F. Kennedy) investigating domestic issues. Rabe faults Kennedy for his reckless Cold Warrior responses to the Soviet Union, which drove both superpowers to the brink of nuclear war over Cuba in 1962, and for other policy failures. In contrast, Giglio offers a sympathetic appraisal of Kennedy's domestic programs: despite lacking an electoral mandate and having to struggle with a conservative Congress, Kennedy enjoyed some important economic and legislative successes during his abbreviated presidency. The book also includes selected speeches and documents that illuminate Kennedy's eloquence and humor. Recommended for high school and college students and general readers as an introduction to the Kennedy administration and for public and academic libraries.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742508347
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: Debating Twentieth-Century America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,383,043
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

James N. Giglio is Distinguished Professor of History at Southwest Missouri State University. Stephen G. Rabe is professor of history at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 John F. Kennedy and the World Part 3 Documents: Chapter 4 Preamble to National Security Council Memorandum No. 68 (NSC 68) Chapter 5 President Kennedy and Chairman Khruschev Debate the Fate of Berlin at the Vienna Summitt Chapter 6 President Kennedy Urges Citizens to Prepare for Nuclear War Chapter 7 President Kennedy Explains His Decision Not to Launch an Air Strike Against Cuba Chapter 8 Higher Authority (President Kennedy) Approves a Sabotage Program against Cuba Chapter 9 President Kennedy Expresses Reservations about Increased U.S. Military Involvement in South Vietnam Chapter 10 President Kennedy Comments on South Vietman and the "Domino Theory" Chapter 11 President Kennedy's Undelivered Remarks at the Trade Mart in Dallas Part 12 John F. Kennedy and the Nation Part 13 Documents: Chapter 14 Kennedy Inaugural Address. Chapter 15 Excerpt from Commencement Address at Yale University. Chapter 16 Excerpt from Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort Chapter 17 Excerpt from Remarks at Meeting with the Headquarters of Peace Corps Chapter 18 Excerpt from Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights Chapter 19 Martin Luther King Jr.: "It's a Difficult Thing to Teach a President" Chapter 20 Survey on the American Presidency Chapter 21 Selected Readings

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