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John F. Kennedy Hardcover – January 4, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0199754366 ISBN-10: 0199754365 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199754365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199754366
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dallek redacts his massive An Unfinished Life (2003) for this entry in Oxford’s brief-life series on U.S. presidents, a just-the-facts-ma’am offering that doesn’t mention such disputed matters as the career of PT-109 and barely notes JFK’s now notorious womanizing. It does unfold a bit about Kennedy’s chronic ill health, but not so much as to upset its stated aim of answering the question of why a president who served less than three years is perennially highly ranked by the U.S. citizenry. And that answer is that Kennedy, despite blundering with the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and temporizing about using federal force to protect African Americans’ civil rights, handled the 1962 Cuban missile crisis with aplomb, initiated nuclear-arms-control negotiations, and compiled the reform agenda of civil rights measures, Medicare, federal aid to education, tax cuts, and antipoverty programs that Lyndon Johnson subsequently pushed through Congress—and don’t forget who started the Peace Corps. In short, Kennedy “spoke to the country’s better angels.” --Ray Olson

Review


"Dallek has met the challenge of extreme compression. He has produced an excellent starting point for anyone seeking a brief introduction to a president who, if not quite the towering figure of the popular imagination, remains far more important than his truncated term might suggest." --The Historian


"In this riveting tour de force, Boston University history professor Dallek Ldelivers what will most assuredly become the benchmark JFK biography for this generation. A master of the art of narrative history, Dallek is also the first biographer since Doris Kearns Goodwin to be granted unrestricted access to key Kennedy family papers (most importantly, the Joseph and Rose Kennedy Papers) in the JFK Library. This is a substantial and significant trove to which Dallek brings a refreshingly critical eye."--Publishers Weekly


"Sets the historical record straight...pitch-perfect prose...hands-down the best biography of JFK...a truly remarkable achievement."-- Douglas Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey Beyond the White House


"A remarkable cradle-to-grave account of JFK-the best ever penned."--Edward J. Renehan Jr., Providence Journal


"Dallek is a master of the biographical craft."--Boston Globe


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Reilly on April 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I respect Dallek, based upon his previous work and talks on CSpan, I was disappointed that this slim volume had little of the human side of Kennedy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James R. Moulton on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered the hard cover edition of this biography by Robert Dallek on John F. Kennedy that is in excess of 700 pages. What I received was a small 97 page hard cover booklet. This is not what I order and not how the product was presented on amazon.com. This product was misrepresented and I am extremely disappointed. I have no use for a grossly edited version of the biography I ordered.

The products need to be clearly listed with not only the author and the title, but the number of pages as well. The "look inside the cover" option did not display the number of pages for this booklet edition. I do not recommend this product.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Common queries greet a new biography about historical icons such as Washington, Lincoln, or JFK—is this book really necessary? Does it bring new insights? Present a new view? Make us think any differently about the subject? Unfortunately, in the case of John F Kennedy by Robert Dallek, the answer is “no” on all counts. The book is clear, precise, and well written. In seventy-three short pages (five pages of the book are reserved for the Source list) Dallek presents a concise overview of the life of JFK, focusing mostly on the pursuit and management of his presidency. For someone unfamiliar with that life, this book would make a fine introduction. However, anyone already familiar with the story would be far better off reading any number of JFK biographies, including the author’s own, John F Kennedy, an Unfinished Life, which this volume was distilled from. One can only think that the smaller book was written as a teaser for the larger tome, enticing readers to later editions. Compression of a monumental life into such a small volume naturally leads to painful choices regarding what to include and exclude. One glaring example is that there is no mention in this book of Kennedy’s run for the vice-presidency in 1956. This was a crucial event in the early political life of JFK which thrust him into the national spotlight, and is certainly worth a mention in an overview history. Seasoned JFK historians will glean nothing new from this biography. Kennedy novices will receive a well written view from thirty thousand feet. However, they should be able to find similar material in the archives of American Heritage Magazine or elsewhere on the internet without paying an inflated price for a meager hardcover book not much longer than a magazine article.
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By brian hackel on June 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book seems to answer the facts. No what ifs' or this might had happened. It covered real history that has been distorted by conspiracy theory.
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More About the Author

Robert Dallek is the author of Nixon and Kissinger, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, among other books. His writing has appeared in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Vanity Fair. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president in 2004-2005. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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