A monumental new history reveals how the transition of power from Eisenhower to Kennedy marked more than a succession of presidentsit was the culmination of a generational shift in American politics, policy and culture.
After winning the presidency by a razor-thin victory on November 8, 1960 over Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s former vice president, John F. Kennedy became the thirty-fifth president of the United States. But beneath the stately veneers of both Ike and JFK, there was a complex and consequential rivalry.
In Rising Star, Setting Sun, John T. Shaw focuses on the intense ten-week transition between JFK’s electoral victory and his inauguration on January 20, 1961. In just over two months, America would transition into a new age, and nowhere was it more marked that in the generational and personal difference between these two men and their dueling visions for the country they led. The former general espoused frugality, prudence, and stewardship. The young political wünderkid embodied dramatic themes and sweeping social change.
Extensively researched and eloquently written, Shaw paints a vivid picture of what Time called a “turning point in the twentieth century” as Americans today find themselves poised on the cusp of another watershed moment in our nation’s history.
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About the Author
John T. Shaw is the author of four previous books, including most recently JFK in the Senate: A Pathway to the Presidency. He’s covered Congress for Market News International for nearly twenty-five years, and has also been a contributing writer for the
Washington Diplomat and has been a guest on PBS NewsHour and C-SPAN. He lives in Washington D.C.
Table of Contents
1 Election Day in America 1
2 Dawn of the New Decade 19
3 The Shadow Campaign 46
4 The Age of Eisenhower 75
5 The Junior Senator from Massachusetts 101
6 President Eisenhower Transfers Power 125
7 President-Elect Kennedy Prepares 166
8 Passing the Torch 206
9 Rising Star, Setting Sun 226