John F. Kennedy

Overview

As reassessment of Kennedy for the popular audience largely carries on in terms of hagiography or talebearing, some scholars are more quietly at work to fashion a dispassionate appraisal. A good sampling of research is this collection of 23 papers from a 1985 conference at Hofstra University. The topics, varied if not perfectly balanced encompass the missile crisis, fiscal policy, and other standard questions, as well as less traveled ground such Indo-American relations and the influence of William Lederer and ...

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Overview

As reassessment of Kennedy for the popular audience largely carries on in terms of hagiography or talebearing, some scholars are more quietly at work to fashion a dispassionate appraisal. A good sampling of research is this collection of 23 papers from a 1985 conference at Hofstra University. The topics, varied if not perfectly balanced encompass the missile crisis, fiscal policy, and other standard questions, as well as less traveled ground such Indo-American relations and the influence of William Lederer and Eugene Burdick's The Ugly American on the era. The conclusions are varied too, with Kennedy appearing neither a saint nor a scoundrel. Library Journal

The introduction looks at Kennedy as president and as politician, and establishes the two realms, myth and substance, in which the subsequent examination of Kennedy's life and career will be conducted. His presidency is then divided into the broad categories of foreign policy and domestic policy. Within these categories the suceeding chapters touch on the major controversies and conflicts of the Kennedy years in office, from the question of his religion, which clouded the candidacy, to his final days in the White House. The essays use events of the presidency as a means of reflecting on Kennedy the man, the Senator, and the candidate, as well as the President. Nothing is taken at face value, not Kennedy's liberalism, his support of minorities, nor the wisdom of his economic measure or his foreign policy decisions. All are scrutinized for the reality that often has been obscured by the popular myth. Along with the more widely noted issues, such as the communications flap over the vast wasteland reference, there are chapters on lesser known but nonetheless important issues, such as Kennedy's management of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and his handling of relations with India. A brief concluding section sets the Kennedy presidency within a frame of two others, those of Truman and Reagan, yielding insights into each.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One hundred black-and-white photographs by Lowe frosted with an essay by Sheed are served here as a memorial to and a product of the Kennedy legend. Lowe, who worked closely with JFK, has previously published many of these fine photographs of the president and his family. Sheed's essay on the power of the Kennedy aura at home and abroad is at some points witty, at others overdone, and at one, at least, inaccurate. ( Why England Slept was not the book that won a Pulitzer for Kennedy.) The book's overall effect recalls William Manchester's more substantial One Brief Shining Moment ( LJ 2/15/84). On the 25th anniversary of JFK's assassination, this will be a popular but not essential choice for public libraries. As reassessment of Kennedy for the popular audience largely carries on in terms of hagiography or talebearing, some scholars are more quietly at work to fashion a dispassionate appraisal. A good sampling of research is this collection of 23 papers from a 1985 conference at Hofstra University. The topics, varied if not perfectly balanced (civil rights, for example, is slighted), encompass the missile crisis, fiscal policy, and other standard questions, as well as less-traveled ground such as Indo-American relations and the influence of William Lederer and Eugene Burdick's The Ugly American on the era. The conclusions are varied too, with Kennedy appearing neither a saint nor a scoundrel. Recommended for libraries providing scholarly information on Kennedy. Robert F. Nardini, M.L.S., No. Chichester, N.H.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

PAUL HARPER, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Hofstra University, directed the John F. Kennedy Conference where these papers were originally presented.

JOANN P. KRIEG is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Hofstra University.

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Table of Contents

Preface

John F. Kennedy: Myth and Substance by Thomas E. Cronin

The Presidency: Foreign Policy

Kennedy's Foreign Policy: Activism versus Pragmatism by Kenneth W. Thompson

Kennedy and the Congress: The Nuclear Test ban Treaty, 1963 by Philip J. Briggs

Defense Policy as a Form of Arms Control: Nuclear Force Posture and Strategy under John F. Kennedy by Bernard J. Fireston

The First Day of the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 12, 1962 by Lester H. Bruno

The Dangerous Legacy: John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis by Michael P. Riccards

The Promise Fulfilled: John F. Kennedy and the 'New Frontier' in Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, 1961-1963 by Timothy P. Maga

Kennedy and Nonalignment: An Analysis of Indo-American Relations by Srinivas M. Chary

John F. Kennedy and the Munich Myth by Robert F. Cuervo

The News Management Issue and John F. Kennedy's Foreign Policy by Ralph B. Levering and Montague Kern

'The Ugly American': A Best-seller Reexamined by Joan Iversen

The Presidency: Domestic Policy

Continuity and Change: Fiscal Policy in the Kennedy Administration by Ronald F. King

Economic Policy and Practice: Perspective Politics of Formulation Legitimation by Philip M. Simpson

A Reappraisal of Liberalism in the Kennedy Administration's Economic Policies by M. Mark Amen

Senator John F. Kennedy and the Liberal Establishment: Presidential Politics and Civil Rights Legislation by William R. Shaffer

The ERA and Kennedy's Presidential Commission on the Status of Women by Blanche Linden-Ward

John F. Kennedy's Presidential Commission ont he Status of Women: 'A Dividing Line' byJudith Sealander

The New Frontier and the Vast Wasteland by Mary Ann Watson

Southern Baptists and the Issue of Catholic Autonomy in the 1960 Presidential Campaign by T. David Lisle

The Religion Of and About John F. Kennedy by James S. Wolfe

John F. Kennedy and the Presidents

Truman and Kennedy: The Old Guard Yields to the New by Monte M. Poen

The Once and Future President: John F. Kennedy in the Rhetoric of Ronald Reagan

Index

Conference Program

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