JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President [NOOK Book]

Overview

A Kirkus Best Book of 2013



A revelatory, minute-by-minute account of JFK’s last hundred days that asks what might have been




...
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JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President

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Overview

A Kirkus Best Book of 2013



A revelatory, minute-by-minute account of JFK’s last hundred days that asks what might have been




Fifty years after his death, President John F. Kennedy’s legend endures. Noted author and historian Thurston Clarke argues that the heart of that legend is what might have been. As we approach the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, JFK’s Last Hundred Days reexamines the last months of the president’s life to show a man in the midst of great change, finally on the cusp of making good on his extraordinary promise.



Kennedy’s last hundred days began just after the death of two-day-old Patrick Kennedy, and during this time, the president made strides in the Cold War, civil rights, Vietnam, and his personal life. While Jackie was recuperating, the premature infant and his father were flown to Boston for Patrick’s treatment. Kennedy was holding his son’s hand when Patrick died on August 9, 1963. The loss of his son convinced Kennedy to work harder as a husband and father, and there is ample evidence that he suspended his notorious philandering during these last months of his life.



Also in these months Kennedy finally came to view civil rights as a moral as well as a political issue, and after the March on Washington, he appreciated the power of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., for the first time.



Though he is often depicted as a devout cold warrior, Kennedy pushed through his proudest legislative achievement in this period, the Limited Test Ban Treaty. This success, combined with his warming relations with Nikita Khrushchev in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis, led to a détente that British foreign secretary Sir Alec Douglas- Home hailed as the “beginning of the end of the Cold War.”



Throughout his presidency, Kennedy challenged demands from his advisers and the Pentagon to escalate America’s involvement in Vietnam. Kennedy began a reappraisal in the last hundred days that would have led to the withdrawal of all sixteen thousand U.S. military

advisers by 1965.



JFK’s Last Hundred Days is a gripping account that weaves together Kennedy’s public and private lives, explains why the grief following his assassination has endured so long, and solves the most tantalizing Kennedy mystery of all—not who killed him but who he was when he was killed, and where he would have led us.


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Apparently we will always have Camelot with us. Even half a century has not dulled our fascination with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This book by veteran author Thurston Clarke (Ask Not; Pearl Harbor Ghosts) charts the last 100 days of JFK's life. Its time delineation is not purely arbitrary: During that brief period, the president suffered the loss of his premature two-day-old son, suspended his philandering, and made significant moves in policies involving the Cold War, Vietnam, and civil rights. With its riveting day-by-day accounts, this readable narrative makes one imagine how history might have been different had he lived.

Publishers Weekly
Set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his assassination, this intimate look at J.F.K.’s last 100 days makes the case that had he survived that fateful November afternoon, his political star would’ve only continued to rise in a seemingly assured second term. Clarke (Lost Hero) contends that Kennedy’s successful resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as his popular stances on civil rights, lunar exploration, arms reduction, and tax cuts would’ve overshadowed his romantic scandals, tensions relating to Vietnam, and the public’s frustration with Jackie’s exotic European vacations. Clarke’s portrait of the president is highly favorable; plenty of background information is provided, but many unsavory—and well-known—facts are excised. Effusive encomiums on Kennedy’s charm and pithy anecdotes from big-name admirers take the spotlight, leaving the president’s iciness, penchant for sporadic cruelty, and mercurial tendencies to flit about the wings. Still, Clarke has a taste for a good tangent, and Camelot devotees will relish insider details, from descriptions of an obviously depressed Vice President Johnson “growling at anyone who disturbed him” to dismissive jabs at Sen. Barry Goldwater taken from the president’s official diary. Agent: Kathy Robbins and David Halpern, Robbins Office. (Aug.)
Washington Post - Jonathan Yardley
Clarke does an interesting and in many ways persuasive job of what he proposes at the beginning: 'to view John F. Kennedy through every prism and search through all his compartments during the crucial last hundred days of his life — days that saw him finally beginning to realize his potential as a man and a president — in order to solve the most tantalizing mystery of all: not who killed him, but who he was when he was killed, and where he would have led us.' (8/2/13)
Wall Street Journal
JFK's Last Hundred Days is a superb piece of writing—richly detailed and, considering that the end is all too well known, surprisingly enthralling.
Associated Press Staff
Thurston Clarke's JFK's Last Hundred Days manages to surprise and...to delight.
Library Journal
The author of three New York Times Notable Books, Clarke can be expected to take a more sober-minded approach to Kennedy's last days in office than Andersen (see These Few Precious Days, previewed above), though he does argue that the death of two-day-old Patrick Kennedy persuaded the President to be a better husband and father. Clarke focuses more on Kennedy as politician, pondering issues like civil rights, the Cold War, and Vietnam and on the verge of coming to decisions that would demonstrate the greatness we never got to see.
Kirkus Reviews
Prolific popular historian Clarke (The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days that Inspired America, 2008, etc.) argues that the charismatic president, whose achievements are generally low-rated by scholars, in his final months revealed himself as a great statesman. The book opens on August 7, 1963, when Jackie delivered a premature son whose devastating death brought the couple together. The author spends much time on JFK's personal life, not avoiding his well-known sexual appetite and often crippling medical problems. On the political front, this period saw the approval of the first nuclear test ban treaty. Kennedy was not so fortunate with his proposals to Congress for a strong civil rights bill and a tax cut to lower the very high rates Americans had been paying since World War II. Both bills stalled: Southern legislators opposed any law advancing civil rights, and Republicans, in those far-off days, considered the tax cut fiscally irresponsible. Their passage required the political skills of JFK's successor and unhappy vice president, Lyndon Johnson, universally despised by Kennedy aides as "Uncle Cornpone." Clarke emphasizes that JFK yearned to withdraw American advisers from Vietnam, which seems true, but since most aides and ultimately Kennedy himself decided that a noncommunist South Vietnam was vital to American security, intervention was inevitable once it became clear that South Vietnam's army couldn't defeat the Vietcong. Clarke certainly demonstrates that three often painful years in office had taught Kennedy valuable lessons. No one can say what would have happened if he had lived, but no one will deny that he was a spectacularly appealing character, and Clarke delivers a thoroughly delightful portrait. This detailed, mostly worshipful account will not convince everyone, but few will put it down.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101617809
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/16/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 201,600
  • File size: 15 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Thurston Clarke has written eleven widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His Pearl Harbor Ghosts was the basis of a CBS documentary, and his bestselling Lost Hero, a biography of Raoul Wallenberg, was made into an award-winning NBC miniseries. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards and lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 31, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    JFK's Last Hundred Days is an eye opening book. It starts with t

    JFK's Last Hundred Days is an eye opening book. It starts with the death of his baby and the changes that made in his character - inspiring him to try harder as a father, husband, and leader. Thurston Clarke provides incredible insight into the last days of one of our country's most influential leaders. A darn good book!

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Thurston Clarke shows great writing and research skills in his n

    Thurston Clarke shows great writing and research skills in his new book JFK's Last Hundred Days. I have read several books on the life of John F. Kennedy, but this one really stands out. It focuses, as the title suggests, on a very specific time frame and in doing so really shows a clear image of a leader with real world struggles, pains, and triumphs.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 16, 2013

    It is more than just a review. It is an in depth analysis of a m

    It is more than just a review. It is an in depth analysis of a metamorphosis of character.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Kennedy's last days

    Sympathetic bio: for fans;good read however

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Highly recommended!

    A sincere and truly fascinating look into JFK's last hundred days. A "what if" book as well. I found it riveting and thoroughly enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 6, 2013

    buy it today

    learned a lot. a good book. highly recommend reading

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2013

    all in all a good read

    all in all a good read

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Suggests and hints and mixes fact and conjecture in

    A mishmash of styles. One time he is strapped in back brace next running about in touch football. Says how close yet never says how many days were actually in same place or who was with the children. Said due for c section but had it.? Had one before? Odd insisting of love when it looks like just wanted her to campaign disappointing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Poo

    Poo

    0 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

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