November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedyby Dean R. Owen, Helen Thomas (Foreword by)
As the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination draws near, the events of that fateful day will undoubtedly be on the minds of many throughout the world. Here Dean Owen curates a fascinating collection of interviews and thought-provoking commentaries from notable men and women connected to that notorious Friday afternoon. Those who worked
As the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination draws near, the events of that fateful day will undoubtedly be on the minds of many throughout the world. Here Dean Owen curates a fascinating collection of interviews and thought-provoking commentaries from notable men and women connected to that notorious Friday afternoon. Those who worked closely with the president, civil rights leaders, celebrities, prominent journalists, and political allies are among the nearly one hundred voices asked to share their reflections on the significance of that day and the legacy left behind by John F. Kennedy. A few of the names include:
Tom Brokaw, a young reporter in Omaha in 1963
Andy Rooney, veteran television and radio newscaster
Letitia Baldrige, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy
Congressman John Lewis, sole survivor of the “Big Six” black leaders who met the president after the March on Washington in August of 1963
Cliff Robertson, Academy Award–winning actor who portrayed JFK in PT 109
Rev. Billy Graham, evangelist
With a compelling foreword from renowned author and journalist Helen Thomas, November 22, 1963 investigates not only where we were that day nearly fifty years ago, but where we have come since. A commemorative and insightful read, this book will unite generations.
This book gives readers a real-world glimpse into this extraordinary man, John Kennedy, and the truly great president he was.
Former Washington, DC, reporter Owen has compiled an uneven collection of remembrances he solicited from over 100 men and women about JFK's death and legacy. The book is divided into eight sections: "Members of the Kennedy Administration and White House Staff"; "Civil Rights Leaders"; "Children of Kennedy Advisors and Others"; "Celebrities"; "Family and Friends"; "Journalists and Commentators"; "Political Figures"; and "Those with Humorous, Poignant, Quirky and Tragic Encounters, and Connections." Readers will find the memories offered by those closest to Kennedy the most meaningful, e.g., by longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who contributed the foreword before her death this summer; retired secret service agent Clint Hill, who was on duty in Dallas; White House usher Nelson C. Pierce; Harris Wofford, special assistant to President Kennedy on civil rights; and Congressman John Lewis, former chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. There are only two entries by relatives—and one of those is a reprint. Other memories, e.g., from children of advisers, a major league baseball player, and a game show host, offer fewer insights. A common thread is that JFK gave his supporters hope for a better country and inspired the contributors to lead lives of public service. VERDICT Readers, especially those who lived through the Kennedy years, will be unimpressed by stories from those with only a superficial connection to JFK. Only for hard-core Kennedy junkies.—KH
“A mostly reverential compendium of voices touched by the promise and spirit of John F. Kennedy’s presidencyand the shock of his death. . . . All walks of life are represented in this immense cross section of Americans' grief and groping for comprehension.”Kirkus Reviews
“Dean Owen did what a lot of reporters seem to have forgotten how to do these days, he asked the people who were there that awful day what they saw and how they felt a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of what happened on the weekend that America lost its innocence."Bob Schieffer of CBS News
- Skyhorse Publishing
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Meet the Author
Dean R. Owen is an award-winning journalist with more than thirty years of experience, including working as a reporter and editor in Washington covering Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House. He was seven years old on Friday, November 22, 1963, and cites the events of that day as the catalyst for his professional career in journalism, public policy, and corporate communications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, among others. He resides in Seattle, WA.
Helen Thomas (19202013) was the former chief White House Correspondent for the United Press International. The recipient of more than forty honorary degrees, she was honored in 1998 with the inaugural Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, established by the White House Correspondents' Association. She lived in Washington, D.C., where she wrote a syndicated column for Hearst from 2000 to 2010.
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This is a wonderful book which gave me great insights into Kennedy and how he treated people, reacted under pressure, and how he impacted their lives. There are some very poignant stories told by people who were close to Kennedy and some from people with brief but intense interactions with him. Dean Owen picked the stories very carefully. Many of them are new and untold until now. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A great way to remember the fiftieth anniversary.
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