Rachel's Reviews > Profiles in Courage

Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
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's review
Dec 16, 09

bookshelves: 10th-grade

Finally, I'm finished! This book's style might lend itself to be read in small increments, but I never thought it would take this long.

And now on to the small matter of how I liked the book...

If a politician can be a poet, Kennedy certainly is. His skill is most evident in the book's introduction and conclusion, with their earnest and stirring words on courage in the American political system. Read alone, they could even inspire me to go into politics. Kennedy's inspiring words, however, are accompanied by historical examples. These accounts are hilarious (early senators, unplagued by mass media, could be far freer in their opinions of their adversaries -- thus Sam Houston's opprobrious assertions that his opponents "[had:] all the characteristics of [dogs:] except fidelity" and were "as demure as three prostitutes at a christening"). In most cases, they are inspiring in themselves. But they could not quite allay my suspicion that most modern politicians, when they incur the wrath of their constituents or party, do so for personal gain or because of other political pressures. The line between courage and stubbornness, or courage and stupidity, is never clearly drawn. In the end, though, I agree that politicians should act according to their principles in the face of dissent. Dissent is, after all, a cornerstone of democracy.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica For yourself or for school?


Rachel Kind of both... my English teacher is making us all enter the Profiles in Courage essay contest, and since I have no idea what to write about I thought I'd read the book first. It's a great historical read, both interesting and entertaining; JFK obviously loved history and wasn't a half-bad writer either.

message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wow; that sounds interesting. The last time any of my teachers introduced students to contests was in eighth grade. What do you have to do?


Rachel Write about an American politician who demonstrated political courage. At first I thought I'd do Hilary Clinton, since I can write passionately about feminism, but she's way too well known. I've got to find someone obscure... maybe I'll take to reading the New York Times again for names xP

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