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Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words Paperback – May 1, 2007


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Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words + Major Problems in American History, Volume II: Since 1865 (Major Problems in American History Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks MediaFusion (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402209223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402209222
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After Lincoln, John F. Kennedy is generally acknowledged as our most eloquent president. The words of such major speeches as his inaugural and his remarks at the Berlin Wall resonate still in the minds of Americans. But as this book and CD illustrate, Kennedy was equally articulate on a host of other occasions, including campaign debates with Richard Nixon, White House press conferences, commencement addresses and comments on such topics as the integration of the University of Mississippi and the Cuban missile crisis. Of course, a large part of JFK's communicative excellence lay in his smart, confident delivery. Thus bestselling Kennedy biographer Dallek and Golway (The Irish in America) present the speeches on a CD featuring Kennedy's own voice, while their book sets each of the CD's 32 tracks in historical context. The speeches and commentary trace JFK's presidential career from the 1960 campaign through his death. Painstakingly, the authors lay out the parameters of real politics that lay behind particular phrases and positions. In the end, the reader/listener is even more impressed with JFK after learning the backgrounds and contexts and then hearing Kennedy so lucidly express the words. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The voice of John F. Kennedy is burned into the brains of people of a certain age. But younger citizens may not be familiar with his ideas and the distinctive way in which he expressed himself. There have been past recordings of JFK's presidential speeches, but this unique package pairs a CD of the speeches with a collection of essays on them by historians Golway and Dallek (the latter wrote his own JFK book, An Unfinished Life, 2003). The result is nothing short of terrific. The speeches (some are excerpted, some are complete) are grouped chronologically, beginning with the campaign and continuing through the high points of Kennedy's 1,000 days, including the inaugural address, the calls for a Peace Corps and an effort to put a man on the moon, and, of course, the landmark pronouncements during the Cuban missile crisis. But these are just the highlights. There are 32 tracks in all, and they deliver a superb sense of the man and his charismatic style. The insightful commentary adds a powerful complement. For instance, using the pre-presidential speeches as a starting point, the authors set the American stage, discussing what was happening in the country on the verge of the 1960s. Later, when Kennedy tells Americans to ask what they can do for their country, the text makes clear how unusual such presidential calls for sacrifice are (even today). Researchers will find this work invaluable, but more casual readers (and listeners) will be fascinated as well. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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There is much irony as well.
S. Masterson
An audio CD containing thirty-four tracks accompanies the book which is divided into four parts.
FCEtier
Great speechwriting and an amazing politician that truly led our country.
J. Rogers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George Lambidis on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A must have book for all age groups interested in the life and times of JFK. To hear the actual speeches of JFK on CD are inspirational and even in this day and age very moving. The book and CD transported me back to that era even though I was 8 at the time and brought back many memories.

An excellent book.Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Conor Cunneen on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
The combination of audio CD and written commentary make this a `must have' for the serious student of oratory and contemporary American politics. Writers Dallek and Golway present over 30 speeches (some edited) from one of the finest political orators of the 20th century.

The vast majority of the speeches are probably well known to Kennedy aficionados, but probably only in written form. It is a delight to hear such a diverse range of speeches ranging from early in his campaign - January 1960 thru November 21 1963, the day before his assassination.

The authors give a profile / overview of each speech. By its nature, these have to be brief and do not provide a lot of detail. For those interested in learning more about Kennedy's speech development, read Theodore Sorensen's Counselor, Thurston Clarke's Ask Not and Richard Tofel's Sounding the Trumpet.

Occasions make great speeches. Kennedy was a fine orator who came to power at a time of great tension, achievement and change. The words he spoke when put in this context have become memorable. Thus Kennedy's address to protestant ministers of the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, his inaugural, the Berlin crisis address and the Cuban missile crisis address are memorable not just because of well crafted words, well delivered, but because they were important narrative about crucial events.

The presidential debates with Richard Nixon feature prominently in the book. Many historians suggest that those listening on radio thought Nixon won the debate. I have never seen statistics to support that point, but Nixon does come across as well as Kennedy on audio although much of the Vice-President's commentary was pretty ironic given what we now know of the only man to resign the presidency.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CCloud on October 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words examines the public speeches of President Kennedy. From his presidential campaign to his last speech in 1963, authors Robert Dallek and Terry Golway guide us through the setting and significance of his notable addresses.

Even today, Kennedy's words reverberate through the collective consciousness of our nation. His inaugural remains one of the most inspiring and well-remembered in American history. In fact, as the authors argue, his skill with words is one of the key factors to his continued popularity four decades later.

An innovative feature of this book that I especially enjoyed is the accompanying audio CD. For each chapter there is a clip from the corresponding speech. After reading the background, you can enjoy hearing the President "in his own words." This is a tremendous bonus for this book, and I hope other authors utilize this concept.

Though I have never been a great fan of President Kennedy, I found myself enjoying this book immensely. As someone whose vocation requires public speaking, I find reading, hearing, and understanding what great speakers say, and how they say it, beneficial. More than that, it is enjoyable to observe a master communicator. There is no question that Kennedy was skilled when it came to using his "bully pulpit" to accomplish his agenda, but he was equally skilled in the art of speaking.

Most effective presidents, especially those who are enduringly popular, were good communicators (Consider Lincoln, FDR, Reagan). In the words of the authors, "Substantive presidential accomplishments seem to have less of a sustaining hold on Americans than does memorable presidential language in public addresses." This book proves that principle is certainly true in the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Robert Dallak and Terry Goldway bring to life masterfully in Kennedy's own words a portrait of an age with a president that was young but gifted politician. From the "Ask Not" Speech to the speech of the Berlin Wall, Kennedy's voice enhances the masterful biography of all Kennedy's charm, love of words, and deep, moral conscience. To me, it brings back the era when the world was on nuclear hair-trigger alert, the press was oppressing, and CIA secrets were gossip for the public. However, I do not think middle school students should read this book because the words of kennedy are still to deep to grasp at this age. The words of Kennedy cut deep into this nation's very soul, and continues to do so.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Masterson on August 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Listening to the accompaning CD is both stimulating and depressing. The literacy and restraint of Kennedy's language so starkly contrasts to what we hear from the current administration. There is much irony as well. In the clip from the debates, Nixon tells the voters that as president he will be a role model for the nation's youth, just as Ike had been. But most depressing is the way this book and CD demonstrate the change in what voters now find persuasive. These are not sound bits or simple messages. These are intelligent and sophisticated speeches. These speeches suggest that Kennedy assumed that the voters were intelligent and that he respected their intelligence. Compare that to the current, simplistic messages that accuse opponents of being in league with al Qaeda. While Nixon was no stranger to the simplistic attack, it is striking to listen to his language and compare it to the current Republican leadership. To suggest that an early time was better is almost a cliche, but when you read and listen to these speeches the evidence seems overwhelming. This was a time when many of our leaders spoke with eloquence and addressed complex issues (Stevenson, Dirkson, Mansfield, Nelson Rockefeller, Robert Kennedy, and many others). More importantly, the voters seemed to actually listen to these speeches. There are great lessons in this modest volume.
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