John F. Kennedy: The American Presidents Series: The 35th President, 1961-1963 [NOOK Book]

Overview


The young president who brought vigor and glamour to the White House while he confronted cold war crises abroad and calls for social change at home

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a new kind of president. He redefined how Americans came to see the nation's chief executive. He was forty-three when he was inaugurated in 1961—the youngest man ever elected to the office—and he personified what he called the "New Frontier" as the United States entered ...

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John F. Kennedy: The American Presidents Series: The 35th President, 1961-1963

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Overview


The young president who brought vigor and glamour to the White House while he confronted cold war crises abroad and calls for social change at home

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a new kind of president. He redefined how Americans came to see the nation's chief executive. He was forty-three when he was inaugurated in 1961—the youngest man ever elected to the office—and he personified what he called the "New Frontier" as the United States entered the 1960s.

But as Alan Brinkley shows in this incisive and lively assessment, the reality of Kennedy's achievements was much more complex than the legend. His brief presidency encountered significant failures—among them the Bay of Pigs fiasco, which cast its shadow on nearly every national-security decision that followed. But Kennedy also had successes, among them the Cuban Missile Crisis and his belated but powerful stand against segregation.

Kennedy seemed to live on a knife's edge, moving from one crisis to another—Cuba, Laos, Berlin, Vietnam, Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama. His controversial public life mirrored his hidden private life. He took risks that would seem reckless and even foolhardy when they emerged from secrecy years later.

Kennedy's life, and his violent and sudden death, reshaped our view of the presidency. Brinkley gives us a full picture of the man, his times, and his enduring legacy.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429974226
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Series: American Presidents Series
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 516,906
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Alan Brinkley is the author most recently of The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is also the author of Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, which won the National Book Award, and The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War. He is the Allan Nevins Professor of History at Columbia University and has also taught at Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 27, 2012

    What I liked about the book the most was the fact that it didn't

    What I liked about the book the most was the fact that it didn't idealize John Kennedy like so many books have done in the past. I liked that it was very matter of fact about several items such as how young and immature he was when he became president and how this played a big role in his fear of committment (as well indecisiveness) to many things such as civil rights, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.

    The very first book I ever read when I was 8 years old was about JFK. As a child I read about what a great man he was because of all the things he did in life...he was a war hero; he overcame being a sickly child; he married a beautiful young woman and had 2 beautiful young children. The entire book was portrait of what many people WANT to remember about JFK. While I wouldn't have expected a book for children to discuss bigger and deeper issues, tthe book was clearly an attempt to make JFK someone every child should look up to and believe in.

    Unfortunately, JFK never lived up to the ideas that his father, Joe Kennedy Sr, wanted the whole world to believe about him and his family. To hear people from the 60's tell it, there was no greater president. The whole Camelot idea rolled into What Dreams May Come tale becomes more ridiculous as time passes on. The only reason it worked was because the press didn't go digging into his background. If they had, JFK might have been destroyed in a major smear campaign of which would have been his own undoing (numerous affairs, connections to certain people, etc).

    While his assassination (like Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley) was a tragedy of errors, the sad fact is that in death he doesn't become a greater president. Out of respect, we don't want to speak ill of the dead and this is well understood but what is also well understood is that it has now been almost 50 years since his murder so to write the truth about his short-comings and lack of ability is now fair game.

    To read this book is to draw the conclusion that winning the presidency was nothing more than winning a competition and afterwards having no interest in pursuing the matter any further. This conclusion isn't much of a stretch considering his numerous affairs were mere conquests.

    I write this opinion as a life-long democrat who believes that Johnson rather than Kennedy deserves the credit for the "changes" that took place in the 60's. Johnson was a much more experienced politician whose background was closer to the people whom he served. Despite the fact that this books stated that Kennedy started the ball rolling, it also mentioned how fearful he was to actually stir the pot because he was too concerned about winning the 1964 election.

    Finally, take away the assassination and allow Kennedy two-terms as president, I doubt the word "great" ever applies to his presidency. He might very well have been ended up like that of Reagan...a good communicator but not really a good president.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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