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Kennedy: The Classic Biography (Harper Perennial Political Classics) Paperback – October 20, 2009


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Kennedy: The Classic Biography (Harper Perennial Political Classics) + A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House + An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 - 1963
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Product Details

  • Series: Harper Perennial Political Classics
  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006196784X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061967849
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Ted Sorensen knew Kennedy the man, the senator, the candidate, and the president as no other associate did. From his hiring as a legislative assistant to Kennedy's death in 1963, Sorensen was with him during the key crises and turning points—including the spectacular race for the vice presidency at the 1956 convention, the launching of Kennedy's presidential candidacy, the TV debates with Nixon, and election night at Hyannis Port. The first appointment made by the new president was to name Ted Sorensen his Special Counsel.

In Kennedy, Sorensen recounts failures as well as successes with surprising candor and objectivity. He reveals Kennedy's errors on the Bay of Pigs, and his attitudes toward the press, Congress, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sorensen saw firsthand Kennedy's actions in the Cuban missile crises, and the evolution of his beliefs on civil rights and arms control. First published in 1965 and reissued here with a new preface, Kennedy is an intimate biography of an extraordinary man, and one of the most important historical accounts of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Ted Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and after law school moved to Washington, D.C., where he would ultimately work for John F. Kennedy. He left the White House soon after JFK's death, and in 1966 joined a New York City law firm, where, as a prominent international lawyer, he advised governments, multinational organizations, and major corporations around the world. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History. Sorensen remained active in political and international issues until his death in 2010.


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Customer Reviews

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Ted Sorenson's book on Kennedy is good and seems very historically accurate.
Fast Reader
From the very start, one discerns the deepest compassion and abhorrence of violence: he remained true to those values throughout his life.
Hugh O'Neill
Some of the syrupy praise that he lauds on the man over and over again is simply too much to stomach.
Clem

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Toby Scammell on November 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sorensen's account deals briefly with Kennedy's background, and then dives deeper into his campaign and years in office. I used the book as research for a paper on the Bay of Pigs and found that Sorensen's analysis is concise yet thorough. His reliance on Kennedy's speeches and on the progression of the drafts (many that he wrote or co-wrote) provides a very interesting picture of the incident and the man that I couldn't find elsewhere.

A very good background, reference, or research piece from insider Ted Sorensen.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Leeni Balogh on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written by John F. Kennedy's longtime aide, Ted Sorensen. An insider's view of one of the greatest American presidents. A reminder of Kennedy's leadership in areas such as: civil rights, environmental rights, consumer rights, Peace Corps, and space exploration. Half a century ago Kennedy warned against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and he took the first serious step toward arms control by ratifying the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. It has been 47 years since the death of President Kennedy, but his legacy lives. When JFK was president, I was very young and did not live in the United States. So, it was interesting to read about the 1960 presidential campaign climate: the difficulties Kennedy faced running as a Roman Catholic and the very narrow margin by which he won the election.
Sorensen"s book is 758 pages long and exhaustive. I recommend it for anyone who has serious interest in John F. Kennedy, the man and the political climate in late "50s and early 60's.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Although Sorenson's book might have taken a beating since Camelot's golden days, it remains an invaluable classic for those interested in Presidential biographies. Sorenson doccuments what he felt made Kennedy a leader....and what ultimately impacted us when he was assasinated.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hugh O'Neill on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
WHO WILL PRAY FOR JFK?

“Arma Virumque Cano” (Virgil’s Aeneid)

November 22nd 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of American President John F. Kennedy. It would seem that there are two distinct versions of this man, since the mythology that has accrued ever since has been contradictory at best. How can one man be so different from what we thought we knew? Indeed, so much has been written that many people now switch-off: unable to separate the truth from the myth, they drown in the brown tsunami of disinformation perpetrated by his murderers who make our world so dysfunctional. Confusion becomes apathy.

George Orwell wrote of the rationale behind propaganda: “Who controls the present controls the past. Who controls the past controls the future”. It is the duty of every historian to challenge propaganda, no matter how politically dangerous that may be. American soldier (and whistle-blower) Bradley Manning is under trial now because he told the truth about the slaughter of unarmed civilians. Orwell again: “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”. Hitler too knew that deceiving people was quite simply a matter of constant repetition until the lie becomes the fact. The historian JFK’s first book “Why England Slept” was published in 1940 when he was only 23 and became a best-seller: he donated the royalties to recently-bombed Plymouth. (Interestingly, the BBC insinuates that the book was only a success because his father bought so many copies, or that he himself did not write it etc. This is the same BBC that warned us about WMD in Iraq). JFK wrote: “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic’.
Read more ›
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By Michael J Gormly on July 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great historical novel, First person account of a historical life
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Kennedy. It gave me an insight to the man and his political accomplishments. The book is a little on the long side at 800 pages but well worth the time to read. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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By Patricia I. Matteson on January 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learned a lot about what happened behind the scenes of the time Kennedy was in office. I have a new found respect for the man and his ability as a leader for our country. Very enlightening about how government works and the players involved.
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By John Ford on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
History Students will greatly appreciate this Work of many by this author regarding the discussions and ultimately the Decisions that where made during this Administration and the reasoning behind the Decisions.
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