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One Brief Shining Moment Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, Audiobook


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Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

Addison's aristocratic tenor is a great match for this audiobook about John F. Kennedy, one of the best-known members of America's aristocracy. Manchester's book is not a dispassionate academic biography; rather, it is in the mold of a Greek paean--a hymn of praise about a famous figure. Manchester had a personal connection to JFK and tells intimate stories about him. This audiobook focuses on the highlights of Kennedy's life and his presidency and defends JFK against criticism. Addison's reading communicates the many emotions that Manchester displays in this text. M.L.C. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.; Unabridged edition (March 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736644539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736644532
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,776,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Manchester is Professor of History Emeritus at Wesleyan University. His bestselling books include The Last Lion, a multi-volume biography of Winston Churchill; American Caesar, a biography of Douglas MacArthur; The Death of a President, The Arms of Krupp, and A World Lit Only by Fire. He lives in Connecticut.

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#87 in Books > History
#87 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Junette Oscar on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is not meant to be a historical recollection of scholarly aptitude about the presidency and politics of the late Mr. Kennedy. In the first few sentences of the introduction, Mr. Manchester made that completely clear. His aim, I believe, was to offer an intimate view of the president from the perspective of an intimate friend. President Kennedy had been dead for 21 years before I was born and 41 years would pass after his assassination until I took great interest in his life and presidency this year. In reading this book, I fell in love with every aspect of him: his personality, family, politics, and overall warmth, and though Kennedy's persona is enigmatic in itself, I don't think that I would have admired him as strongly as I do without the masterful yet intimate writing of this book. It doesn't offer an objective or scholarly approach to Kennedy's life. It offers an intimate one. I laughed, cried, and fumed while reading this book, trapped in the illusion that I was actually there with the senator in his race for the presidency, during his presidency, and even in his personal life back in the 50s and 60s, even though the reality was that I was born 21 years after his assassination. I am not too strongly politically inclined; I recommend this book strongly to anyone who just wants to know who the late former president was as a man, son, father, husband, and president. It is a great book. And the fact that it is loaded with pictures is a plus as well.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Make no mistake, William Manchester (1922-), who knew John F. Kennedy personally, can be a great writer at times. His two-volume biography of Winston Churchill (sadly, never to be completed now that Manchester is aging and ill) is superb, and so is "The Glory and the Dream", his history of the GI generation from 1932-1972. But when it comes to the Kennedys, Manchester's objectivity and tendency to hero-worship simply fails him, and has led to plenty of criticism and controversy over the years. In my opinion, "One Brief Shining Moment" is easily one of the worst books ever written about President Kennedy, and is an embarrassment to Manchester's otherwise brilliant career. Manchester doesn't just praise JFK in this book, he almost fawns over him, and it's obvious that he sees JFK as a modern King Arthur presiding over a (White House) Camelot. His chapter titles for this book tell it all - "There thou layest" is his final chapter in which he specifically links Kennedy to the Arthurian legends, and indulges in plenty of purple prose.

As in his other Kennedy books, Manchester loathes Lyndon Johnson, and in this work he more clearly links LBJ with Mordred - Arthur's (JFK's) great enemy and the villain of the Camelot (Kennedy) legend - than in his previous Kennedy books. In Manchester's prose, LBJ is little more than a redneck boor, a country hick whose crude habits, such as deer hunting, "horrified" the urbane, elegant, and intellectual JFK. In Manchester's view Lyndon Johnson was the "anti-Kennedy" - this despite the view held by many modern (and far more objective) historians that it was Johnson, and not JFK, who was the critical force behind the great Civil Rights and anti-poverty legislation passed in the mid-sixties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Miller on April 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book from the pictures to the text. It gives you a real person look at John F. Kennedy as the man and then him as President and how the overlapped. Also you get a real incite of JFK's humor and a real glimpse of how he was with his children. You also get a few glimpses at why he made certain choices tat certain times which has not always been covered very well before, but this book gives you it in a regular persons view point which sheds alot of light on what he was going through as well how this train of thinking helped this country. Very good book to add to you any collection.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful By chefdevergue VINE VOICE on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As Manchester is wont to do, he waxes poetic about historical figures he has put up on pedastals. If you are assembling a library devoted to the Camelot myth, this book will be essential to your collection. However, if you are looking for a useful historical examination of JFK, this book will prove to be largely useless. Richard Reeves' "Profile in Power," in print for almost 10 years now, shows that one can avoid hero worship while also avoiding character assissination, and is infinitely more useful to the reader than this fluff. Robert Dallek's far more recent "An Unfinished Life" is also to be recommended far above this.
As Manchester now sheds the mortal coil, one can see that his books on Churchill, MacArthur & Kennedy say a lot more about Manchester than they ever did about their respective subjects. This is a man who seemed to need to have heroes to worship, and he worshipped them most uncritically. He also made a lot of money stoking the fires of hero-worship along the way. However, in the long term it does not make for good history, and as a historian Manchester is rather lacking. I suspect that in another generation, he will virtually forgotten by serious students of history.
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