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John F. Kennedy: A Biography

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  161 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
John F. Kennedy creates an absorbing, insightful and distinguished biography of one of America's most legendary Presidents. While current fashion in Kennedy scholarship is to deride the man's achievements, this book describes Kennedy's strengths, explains his shortcomings, and offers many new revelations.

There are many specialized books on Kennedy's career, but no first-cl
Hardcover, 992 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Jun 11, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
This might get downgraded to 3; it's hovering between 3 and 4.
It took me forever to read, but that was all me/life -- it's actually a generally fast-moving bio and pretty engaging. Things I did not dig: endnotes with no endnotes. That's right -- for some reason the notes weren't published in the book (blah blah length and production constraints apologetic note from the publisher blah blah) but you can read them online or write off to the publisher for them. I'm really tempted to do the latter,
Jerry Landry
May 26, 2015 Jerry Landry rated it really liked it
It is surprisingly difficult to find a one-volume biography of John F Kennedy, as O'Brien himself notes as part of the reasoning behind writing this book. While there are gaggles of titles to choose from on specific points of his life, his presidency, or his death, rare is the author who follows Kennedy from beginning to end. O'Brien's narrative style is quite interesting -- up until the presidency, the narrative is essentially chronological, but when the reader gets to the presidency, the chapt ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Mike rated it liked it
Not a bad biography, though much of it consists of patching together passages from previous biographies. Seems that new ground is broken with some new medical records and some recently declassified information. JFK was an interesting guy and president, and eludes pigeonholing either as a politiican or as a man.
May 02, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
Note to self: finished reading and quoting from this one, no need to order again.

Yes, I'm writing a paper on a Cold War speech by JFK...
Beth Olson shultz
Jun 19, 2013 Beth Olson shultz rated it really liked it
Took forever to read, but it is a huge book. Very balanced in showing what was good and bad about JFK.
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Michael O'Brien is professor of American intellectual history at the University of Cambridge.
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