As World War II was ending and the Cold War was just beginning, a young naval hero decommissioned before war's end because of his crippling injuries, traveled through a devastated Europe. During the trip, John F. Kennedy kept a diary, never before published. As the diary makes clear, that European trip was a turning point in the future President's life. It was on this trip that Kennedy first confronted the "long twilight struggle" for the preservation of Western freedom that would define his Presidency. In these few months an agenda for a Presidency began to be forged, and the closing pages of the diary make clear that it was at this moment in time that Kennedy began laying plans for his first run for Congress , the first step in his journey to the White House.
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About the Author
Deirdre Henderson was a research assistant to Senator John F. Kennedy in 1959 and 1960, and during the Kennedy Administration worked in the Department of State. In 1967 she was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Massachusetts' sixth district.
Hugh Sidey covered the American presidency for Time and Life for almost four decades. A former Washington bureau chief for Time , he wrote Time 's "The Presidency" column. He has authored or contributed to several books on the presidency, including John F. Kennedy, President (1963).