As special assistant to the president, Arthur Schlesinger witnessed firsthand the politics and personalities that influenced the now legendary Kennedy administration. Schlesinger's close relationship with JFK, as a politician and as a friend, has resulted in this authoritative yet intimate account in which the president "walks through the pages, ...
As special assistant to the president, Arthur Schlesinger witnessed firsthand the politics and personalities that influenced the now legendary Kennedy administration. Schlesinger's close relationship with JFK, as a politician and as a friend, has resulted in this authoritative yet intimate account in which the president "walks through the pages, from first to last, alert, alive, amused and amusing" (John Kenneth Galbraith). A THOUSAND DAYS is "at once a masterly literary achievement and a work of major historical significance" (New York Times).
FEW PRESIDENTIAL BIOGRAPHERS HAVE BEEN AS
INSIDE AN ADMINISTRATION AS IS SCHLESINGER.
HEREIN LIES HIS BRILLIANCE. NOT MERE
HAGIOGRAPHY, NOR SACCHARIN-SWEET, SYRUPY
SERVILITY; THIS IS A FINELY CRAFTED, SUBLIMELY
COMPOSED HISTORY OF KENNEDY'S PRESIDENCY.
IT IS FAIR IN IT'S EVALUATION OF JFK'S FAILURES, AS
WELL AS HIS TRIUMPHS. THE AUTHOR, TO HIS CREDIT,
DOES NOT DELVE INTO THE PERSONAL PECCADILLOS,
RUMORED OR REAL, OF THE PRIVATE MAN. WE MUST
REMEMBER HOW THOROUGHLY CAPTIVATED THE
NATION WAS (MOST OF IT, AT LEAST) WITH THE YOUNG,
GORGEOUS, INCREDIBLY SMART, TRULY WITTY NEW
PRESIDENT. DOES SCHLESINGER DRAW TOO
ROMANTIC A PICTURE OF HIS SUBJECT ? LET'S JUST
SAY HE GAVE A GRIEVING NATION WHAT IT WANTED
AND NEEDED ~ A DEEPLY MOVING PORTRAIT OF A
MAN AND A TIME OF HOPE, AND THE UNFINISHED
BUSINESS OF AN AMERICAN GOD SLAIN SYSTEM-
ATICALLY, LONG, LONG LONG BEFORE HIS TIME.
DAVID B. MAGEE, JR.
Jul 30, 2008
Why John F. Kennedy was great
This is the only book I have read on JFK. I also read Profiles in Courage. A thousand days is about his foreign policy. Written by a friend of the President, it is a detailed analysis of Kennedy's strong will and willingness to say when he was wrong (the invasion of Cuba). He had the charisma of FDR and fine speaking voice. I was only 16 when he died but he has inspired me to stay a Democrat. The Cuban missile crisis was his glorious hour. Richard Burton read the book and turned around and reread it. Schlesinger has given us probably the only foreign policy book on Kennedy that will remain a classic.
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