Craig's Reviews > John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy by Alan Brinkley
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Jul 04, 12

Read in June, 2012

This well-written biography does an excellent job distilling President Kennedy’s time in the Oval Office into four concise chapters, each covering the ground of the major issues (Cuba, the Cold War, Vietnam and Civil Rights) with which he dealt during his just-less-than three-year term in office. The details are explained clearly, and Kennedy’s thought processes are presented as much as possible via the writings of his closest associates. The author then expertly analyzes the future that never was by presenting opinions on how each matter could have been affected had the president lived longer.

No punches are pulled during the presentation of Kennedy’s personal life, but the details are not flaunted either. Although tawdry, his behavior toward women (including his wife) is an important component of his personality and must be discussed as part of his life story. Honestly, the most intriguing aspect of these accounts is the huge difference that 50 years has made in the attitudes of the Fourth Estate toward such topics.

Overall, this is an excellent introductory text for persons who only know of John F. Kennedy through history classes or popular films. It has an objective tone and a comfortable style that makes it clear and understandable for readers of all ages and abilities.
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