Rethinking Kennedy: An Interpretive Biography

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Overview

"Almost a half-century has passed since the brief presidency of John F. Kennedy illuminated the American political scene. Kennedy had a special magnetism - flair, aspirations to great deeds, and contagious confidence. And his tenure in the White House occurred in the midst of dramatic events and personalities." "After an initial honeymoon with historians, in recent years Kennedy has been more carefully scrutinized, resulting in a wide range of assessments of his presidency and his life. Michael O'Brien, who knows as much about Kennedy as any historian now writing, has distilled the findings of his heavily detailed biography of a few years ago into a compact life that touches on all the important issues and incorporates the findings and judgments of major works since the president's death." Revisionist writers disdain the glamorous portrait of Kennedy, and Mr. O'Brien gives their views a fair hearing. He offers nuanced interpretations of the influence of Kennedy's parents, his early life, his struggles with health problems, his intellectual development, his heroism in World War II, and his House and Senate career. He examines the paramount moments of Kennedy's presidency, including the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his stand on civil rights, tax policy, and other domestic matters. He does not avoid Kennedy's sexual philandering. He has written the most useful, concise analytical portrait of our thirty-fifth president.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566637909
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 1/16/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael O'Brien's major biography, John F. Kennedy, based on eleven years of research into letters, diaries, financial papers, medical records, manuscripts, and oral histories, was published in 2005 to wide acclaim. Emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, Fox Valley, he lives in Menasha, Wisconsin.
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Table of Contents

1 The Kennedy System 3

2 Education 18

3 World War II and Aftermath 36

4 Congress and the 1952 Senate Election 57

5 Senate Years 75

6 Running for President 96

7 The Bay of Pigs and Berlin 112

8 Domestic Affairs and the Economy 133

9 Civil Rights 150

10 The Cuban Missile Crisis 166

11 Vietnam 177

12 Mind, Personality, and Image 190

13 White House Life: Work and Family 200

14 Women and Sex 214

15 Searching for Peace 227

16 Death in the Fall 236

A Note on Sources 241

Index 245

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