From Publishers Weekly
UN special advisor Sachs (Price of Civilization) revisits the Cold War challenges facing the Kennedy administration during the Strangelove-ian era between October 1962 and September 1963. In this careful study, Sachs zeroes in on four key speeches Kennedy delivered in the months prior to his assassination in November 1963. Specifically, the book focuses on the American University commencement address known as the Peace Speech, also the theme of the author's Reith Lecture for the BBC six years ago. JFK, together with gifted speechwriter Ted Sorensen—his "intellectual alter ego"—set out a strategy for nations to live in "mutual tolerance", with ramifications that extend into the 21st century. Influenced by the writings of Winston Churchill and Pope John XXIII, the two collaborated to send a message of hope to the Class of 1963. Two weeks later Kennedy flew to Ireland where he delivered this message to members of the Irish Parliament. By July he announced a partial test ban treaty to the nation, and brought this news to the UN General Assembly. While sound bites of the Kennedy-Sorensen collaboration echo in modern classrooms—"Ask not what your country can do for you"—the messages in these four speeches seem all too pertinent today. (June)
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“This book is more than merely an exegesis of the major speeches of the last year of the Kennedy presidency. Rather, it presents Kennedy’s approach to achieving peace as a model for leaders of today. . . . The book is rife with lessons for the current administration, given its virtual deadlock with Congress on issues including, but not limited to, gun legislation, the United Nations Treaty on Disabilities, [and] immigration reform. . . . We cannot know how many more steps might have been taken under Kennedy’s leadership, but To Move the World
urges us to continue on the journey.”—Chicago Tribune
“In this careful study, Sachs zeroes in on four key speeches Kennedy delivered in the months prior to his assassination. . . . JFK, together with gifted speechwriter Ted Sorensen—his ‘intellectual alter ego’—set out a strategy for nations to live in ‘mutual tolerance,’ with ramifications that extend into the twenty-first century. . . . While sound bites of the Kennedy-Sorensen collaboration echo in modern classrooms—‘Ask not what your country can do for you’—the messages in these four speeches seem all too pertinent today.”—Publishers Weekly
“After years trying to work out how underperforming economies can reach their full potential, [Jeffrey D. Sachs] has taken time out to offer an act of homage to his childhood hero—John F. Kennedy. And he has singled out one of JFK’s speeches for particular praise. . . . The true masterpiece, he believes, was a speech delivered to the American University in Washington DC in June 1963 and generally referred to as the Peace Speech. Sachs has come up with an argument making the case that the Peace Speech deserves wider recognition. . . . Why then does Sachs see the Peace Speech as so important? As he convincingly argues, it is all about context. Before the speech, he says, both sides had unrelentingly used Cold War rhetoric. In the last year of his life, emboldened by his success in defusing the Cuban missile crisis, JFK handled issues of international security with a new confidence and in a new way. . . . Sachs makes his case.”—The SpectatorFrom the Hardcover edition.