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JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency [Kindle Edition]

John T. Shaw
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.00
Kindle Price: $11.04
You Save: $14.96 (58%)
Sold by: Macmillan


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Book Description

Before John F. Kennedy became a legendary young president he was the junior senator from Massachusetts. The Senate was where JFK's presidential ambitions were born and first realized. In the first book to deal exclusively with JFK's Senate years, author John T. Shaw looks at how the young Senator was able to catapult himself on the national stage. Tip O’Neill once quipped that Kennedy received more publicity for less accomplishment than anyone in Congress. But O’Neill didn’t understand that Kennedy saw a different path to congressional influence and ultimately the presidency. Unlike Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic leader in the Senate, JFK never aspired to be "The Master of the Senate" who made deals and kept the institution under his control. Instead, he envisioned himself as a "Historian-Scholar-Statesman" in the mold of his hero Winston Churchill which he realized with the 1957 publication of Profiles of Courage that earned JFK a Pulitzer Prize and public limelight. Smart, dashing, irreverent and literary, the press could not get enough of him. Yet, largely overlooked has been Kennedy's tenure on a special Senate committee to identify the five greatest senators in American history—JFK’s work on this special panel coalesced his relationships in Congress, and helped catapult him toward the presidency. Based on primary documents from JFK’s Senate years as well as memoirs, oral histories, and interviews with his top aides, JFK in the Senate provides new insight into an underappreciated aspect of his political career.

Editorial Reviews


"This book provides a great introduction to Kennedy's personality and his efforts to transform himself into a viable presidential will serve well to all those interested in acquiring a quick overview of Kennedy's trajectory before reaching the White House" - LSE Review of Books

About the Author

John T. Shaw is a senior correspondent and vice president for Market News International and a contributing writer for the Washington Diplomat. He is a frequent guest on C-SPAN, where he discusses Congress, as well as on KPCC, an NPR affiliate in Los Angeles. He has also appeared on the "PBS News Hour." Shaw was a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University for six years, and he speaks frequently to seminars for diplomats in Washington. He lives in Washington, DC.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2365 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0230341837
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (October 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EGJAZ06
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,208 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, substantial book - a pleasure to read. November 15, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read. John Shaw has other fine books and this is his best. If you are looking for Kennedy anecdotes on Kennedy's infidelities or assassination theories, this is the wrong book. This is an insightful book that goes in depth on Kennedy's Senate years. It gives a good perspective on how Kennedy developed as a person into a solid presidential candidate and what his contributions were as a legislature and member of the Senate. The focus gives new insights - it reminds me of Band of Rivals. Having read many things about Lincoln, the perspective of that book gave me a different look and much more knowledge of the man and his career. This book does the same thing - by offering a detailed perspective on the time JFK spent in the Senate. It has substance but is not dense, it is well told and a pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Kennedy became JFK January 7, 2014
Shaw has crafted a carefully researched look at JFK's fourteen-years in Congress. He reminds us that Kennedy was not born in the White House and shows in engaging detail how his rise to the presidency was both a reflection of his unique personality and the harbinger of a new presidential politics -- for good or ill. This book is particularly suited to those who want a behind-the-scenes look at major league American politics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This must be one of the best new books with a fresh perspective or angle on who John F Kennedy was and how he became the President that he was for those brief 3 years. Unlike President Obama, JFK served a relatively long time in the Senate (8yrs) and before that 6 yrs in the House. The author clearly shows how JFK used the Senate as a launching pad for his run to the White House. Interesting are the speeches Shaw points out on foreign policy issues that proved visionary and prescient (and would cause JFK challenges enough). Also worth noting is how JFK set out his vision for New England (and Massachusetts) and was able to form a platform of 12 new England Senators that became influential in due course long after he established it!!
highly recommended!!!! now for a book that focusses on his foreign policies!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A fresh, insightful view of the "back story" of JFK's rise through the Senate to the White House. The narrative is quick moving and deep, full of little known details and connections from the Senate floor in the 1950's that paint a portrait of one of our best loved Presidents, revealing how acutely Kennedy was of the legacy he was building for history to look back on his time serving his country.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read a great deal about JFK's personal life and his presidency. However, like many others, I assumed his Senate career was without much merit or interest. This book certainly proved me wrong! I recommend it to anyone interested in the full picture of Kennedy's political life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average Kennedy read March 19, 2014
Many authors have tried to give their insight about JFK, but most of them fall into the same pitfalls (his affairs, his assassination, Khrushchev, etc). But not all of them talk about his time BECOMING the JFK we all know about.

John T. Shaw goes deeply into his congressional years and how they shaped him. His research backs up his facts, and his facts back up his credibility as an author. The way he narrates the book has a good flow, not only because of the specific timeline he has to cover, but because he doesn't skip or jump around years. The way it is written is very easy to read, but more importantly, to understand. The life of a president, as well as his points of view, shape up a lot during the years preceding his decision to run, and this is portrayed very well in the book.

The only thing I would add to this book would be more pages to turn, since it left me wanting more and more. As Winston Churchill, who is mentioned a few times, once said regarding speeches, this book is like a womans skirt: "short enough to cover the subject, and long enough to create interest". This is a book I will keep on recommending to whoever is interested not only in JFK, or his legacy, but politics in general.
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