Let Us Begin Anew: An Oral History of the Presidency of John F. Kennedy

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"Let Us Begin Anew" is a startlingly vivid inside look at what it was like to be a member or a close witness - friendly or hostile - of the Kennedy administration. The nearly 120 people interviewed for this book, speaking informally and from the less-pressured perspective of thirty years later, include men and women who worked for the president or observed him as insiders, from his decision to run for the Democratic nomination in 1960 through the aftermath of the assassination in 1963. Their recollections and anecdotes bring personal insights,
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Overview

"Let Us Begin Anew" is a startlingly vivid inside look at what it was like to be a member or a close witness - friendly or hostile - of the Kennedy administration. The nearly 120 people interviewed for this book, speaking informally and from the less-pressured perspective of thirty years later, include men and women who worked for the president or observed him as insiders, from his decision to run for the Democratic nomination in 1960 through the aftermath of the assassination in 1963. Their recollections and anecdotes bring personal insights, humor, and emotion to the many topics discussed. Among these topics are the "Kennedy style"; the question of how much influence Kennedy's father and brother Bobby had over the president; important incidents during the 1960 primary and election campaigns, such as JFK's meeting with the Southern Baptist ministers to confront the Catholic issue; and the controversial decision to choose LBJ as the vice presidential candidate, which still stuns and dismays many - but not all - of JFK's supporters. Foreign affairs are also covered, including how JFK and his advisers handled and mishandled the Bay of Pigs disaster - the unsuccessful attempt by an American-supported invasion of Cuban exiles to provoke the overthrow of Castro; the expectations and disappointments of the first summit meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna; behind the scenes in the Oval Office during the Cuban missile crisis - the serious confrontation that took the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war; and the issue of Vietnam, the administration's role in the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem, and speculation about what Kennedy would have done if he had lived - expanded our involvement as LBJ did, or pulled back. On the domestic front, there are in-depth examinations of the administration's support for the space program; White House relations with J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI; and the administration's handling of the growing civil rights issue -
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The authors interviewed nearly 120 people who were closely associated with the Kennedy administration--both friends and foes--asking their opinions 30 years later about such topics as the "Kennedy style," the influence of Kennedy's father and his brother Bobby, incidents during the 1960 primary and election campaigns, and the decision to choose LBJ as the vice presidential candidate. The responses are arranged according to topic, juxtaposing many views. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Margaret Flanagan
From the vantage point of 30 years, the efficacy of John F. Kennedy's presidency is dissected and analyzed in a revelatory oral history. The Strobers conducted interviews with approximately 140 Kennedy intimates, opponents, and observers in order to present a comprehensive overview of an ever-fascinating political era. Rather than concentrating on Kennedy's well-documented and sensationalized amorous entanglements and infidelities, the authors focus on the political direction and style of his administration. The issues discussed in retrospect include the civil-rights movement, organized crime, the Cold War, the Bay of Pigs debacle, and the Cuban missile crisis. On a more personal note, the complex, interdependent relationship between JFK and Robert Kennedy is examined in detail by a number of contemporaries of both of the brothers. Absolutely engrossing conversational and anecdotal history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060167202
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 384

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The 1960 Campaign 1
2 The Kennedy Appeal 50
3 Kennedy's Political Philosophy 64
4 The Kennedy Family and the Presidency 70
5 Was There a Dynasty in the Making? 102
6 Cabinet Appointments 110
7 Sub-Cabinet-Level Appointments 127
8 President Kennedy's Administrative Style 139
9 Lyndon Johnson 188
10 Foreign Affairs 201
11 Kennedy's Knowledge of, and Policy on, Various Issues 242
12 J. Edgar Hoover and the Kennedys 264
13 Civil Rights 271
14 The Bay of Pigs 323
15 The Vienna Summit 355
16 The Berlin Crisis 360
17 The Cuban Missile Crisis 373
18 Vietnam 402
19 The Assassination 435
20 Camelot 465
21 If Kennedy Had Lived 473
22 The Kennedy Legacy 482
Appendix A Schedule of Interviews 503
Appendix B The Interviewees: Where Are They Today? 511
Index 525
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