Profiles in Courage

Profiles in Courage


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9784871877640
Publisher: Ishi Press
Publication date: 12/24/2015
Pages: 308
Sales rank: 1,092,325
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) was president of the United States from 1961 to 1963. At forty-three, he was the youngest man ever elected to the Oval Office and the first Roman Catholic president.

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Profiles in Courage 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
What is courage? And how does one express it in the political realm? Politicians have a rather bad reputation, and some of it is deserved, but all of it is not. Before he became President, while serving in the United States Senate, John F. Kennedy wrote this book to chronicle the lives of eight United States Senators from history who showed courage by following their consciences in opposition to their party, their section, or even prevailing public opinion. Kennedy does not argue whether they were right or wrong in their beliefs and actions. In fact, some of them took exactly opposition positions on certain issues from others. But what Kennedy wished to emphasize is that we do not necessarily have to agree with people to admire the courage that it took for them to stand up for what they thought was right. The list includes John Quincy Adams, later President, who in opposition to his Federalist party voted for the Embargo Bill to keep English ships from attacking American ones; Daniel Webster who set aside his own opposition to slavery to support the Compromise of 1850 which effectively gave the North more time to prepare for the Civil War; Thomas Hart Benton who supported the Union in spite of the fact that his state of Missouri was a slave-holding state and thus helped keep Missouri from seceding; Sam Houston who also supported the Union in spite of the fact that his state of Texas was a slave state and later when it did secede was ousted as governor at the time; Edmund G. Ross who voted not to remove Andrew Johnson from office; Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a southerner who tried to heal the breach between North and South caused by the Civil War; George W. Norris, a progressive Republican who opposed his party on many issues in the early twentieth century; and Robert A. Taft who objected to the Nuremberg Trials following World War II. One may not agree with all the political principles which Kennedy sets forth in the first chapter, but he still makes some interesting and important points. Unfortunately, he includes a number of quotations in which some form of the "d" word is found and the term "God" is used as an interjection. Otherwise, it is an enlightening account of important historical people and events. In the 1960s a television series entitled Profiles in Courage was made, using seven of the eight examples cited by Kennedy (Lamar was excluded, perhaps because he had fought for the South during the Civil War) and adding several others. It's generally conceded today that Kennedy had much to do with the opening and closing chapters of the book, but Dr. Jules Davids and Ted Sorensen, later an assistant to President Kennedy, contributed most of what lies between. It still won a Pulitzer Prize.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was sitting in Barnes & Noble, waiting for my friend to arrive. She lives far from me, and B&N is a half-way point for us. Anyway, on my way to the chairs in the back, where I was planning to sit down and read "The Princess Diaries", I saw this book in the little bargain section. I love JFK and I'd heard of the book, so I decided to pick it up and read it instead. I loved every minute of it. I learned about some politicians who I'd never heard of (Ross is a good example), and I couldn't help but feel inspired to always stand up for what I believe in. It also reminded me of the reasons I admire Mr. Kennedy as a president, despite the fact that I'm both 16 and a conservative Republican. The book showed exactly what made him great, and reminded me of all the reasons our country is great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to this on audio cassette. As I began listening to it, I began to wonder if it would have even gotten published if the author had been John Doe. I did come away from listening to the book admiring President Kennedy's extensive vocabulary. Also, John Jr.'s reading of it seemed to lack spirit. With one exception, I though it was informative but not that interesting. The one part that was extremely interesting was the part about Edmund G. Ross. That section was breathtaking. It was Edmund G. Ross's vote who kept Andrew Johnson in office after Lincoln's assasination. If Senator Ross had voted differently, the politicians who wanted to treat the South as vanquished territories would have been in power. If that had happened, would the United States be what it is today?
zen_923 on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I love this book! Very Inspiring!
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This is a great book. John F. Kennedy wrote this when he was a senator and he focused on eight U.S. senators and their acts of courage or bravery (they chose to do what was right, even if it meant they would have to pay for it later by loss of popularity or whatever). He focused on both republicans, democrats, and the federalists and the book later won the Pulitzer Prize. Of note, a couple of the senators mentioned are John Adams and Robert Taft. I really really liked this book, it was interesting and showed that not everyone in the Senate were horrible people.
Yestare on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Should be required reading for every HS student and everyone running for office.
jcbrunner on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I picked up "Profiles in Courage" in July at the JFK Library in Boston where it was extensively praised in the video tribute. It also garnered a Pulitzer. I love US history and like JFK. Everything points to me liking this book. Unfortunately, I did not. This is a political book masquerading as history. JFK covers all the bases. Here a nod to intolerant Southerners, there a wink to isolationist Midwesterners and for starters some goodies for conservatives. The key message: Don't fear my presidency, I am not a Massachusetts liberal. This "inclusiveness" wrecks any kind of consistency in the cases selected. It is not a surprise if senators do no come to mind if one imagines courageous people. Nay-saying is the chief function of the senate. It is a feature and not a bug. Senators have little to fear for nay-saying. Incumbents are nearly impossible to unseat, way past their shelf-life. Their six year terms leave ample time for amnesia to work. Courage for a senator according to Kennedy is voting against their party/state interest. I would divide JFK's examples into three categories: 1) Conscience voters: Thomas Hart Benton (MO, pro Union), Sam Houston (TX, against secession), Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (MS, against currency debasing), George Norris (NE, filibustered WWI entry). 2) Legalists: Edmund G. Ross (KS, against impeachment), Robert A. Taft (OH, against Nürnberg death penalties). 3) Compromisers: John Quincy Adams (MA, pro Embargo), Daniel Webster (MA, slavery compromise). Among the decisions only Edmund Ross' refusal to vote for Johnson's impeachment had a historic impact. All the other events would have happened even if the senator under discussion had voted otherwise (the 1850 compromise is debatable, though).Overall, a not particularly well written book which served its purpose in adding an intellectual halo to JFK but does not stand the test of time.
ljethrogibbs46 More than 1 year ago
The book is quite interesting & absorbing & a solid contribution to American history.  The reason for only 2 stars is that it WAS ghostwritten by Kennedy friend/speechwriter, Ted Sorensen, who admitted as much before he died.  JFK not only accepted the Pulitzer Prize for it, he said nothing about who really wrote it.  Admittedly, he supposedly did give the prize money to charity.  But his own acttions hardly qualify as a "profile in courage".
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EJ43 More than 1 year ago
In our greed based society, these timeless stories of intrepidity need to be introduced to the youth of our country!
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Hello people, it's 2010 and I cannot believe the Kennedy's are still trying to convince the world that JFK wrote this book. It was written by Ted Sorensen. It was made an instant bestseller because Joseph Kennedy bought thousands of copies. google, google, google.
Huskerfan More than 1 year ago
I have loved this book since my first reading sometime in the 60s. It is still just as topical as it was then and always enlightening. You can't read about these men without being inspired. And, of course, the writer is so very inspirational on his own. I have the editions with forward by Senator Robert Kennedy as well as the original edition. I have just added this edition to my library of Kennedy books as a very important part of my collection. Caroline's memories and her love for her father, can be heard as she writes. She is an accomplished writer on her own, and adds just the right touch to this edition.
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Should have elaborated in depth on family history.
ericmoreno More than 1 year ago
This book has inspired me to do more. John F. Kennedys' wrtting is the best. He tells it as it is and, from his own words. This book has helped me alot to think differently brfore joining the Marine Corps.
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