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Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History Paperback – May 5, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
“Ted Sorensen’s Counselor is that rare gift to history: an account of mighty events by a participant who stood at their heart, and a writer masterful enough to make us understand them as well.” (Robert Caro)
“Ted Sorensen’s words inspired a generation, and his counsel and judgment helped steer our nation through some of its most difficult hours. This gripping, candid memoir illuminates a revered era in American history. Sorensen has written a book that will be cherished for generations.” (Barack Obama)
“Ted Sorensen has given us a very welcome up close and personal view of life and politics at the side of John F. Kennedy. There are fresh insights and enduring lessons for this and future generations to study and embrace. And painful memories of what we lost.” (Tom Brokaw)
“With eloquence and honesty, Sorensen takes us on a tour of many of the most important moments of the second half of the American Century, from who wrote ‘Profiles in Courage’ to the Cuban Missile Crisis to Dallas and its terrible aftermath. This is an illuminating and engaging book.” (Jon Meacham)
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Sorensen has lived an interesting life apart from his work with the Kennedys and inclusion of that material is a plus. The space he devotes to it is about right; the book remains primarily focused on his long association with JFK and that is what the typical reader wants and expects. Of particular interest to me was how Kennedy reached out to Republicans -- described in a Chapter called "President Kennedy's Ministry of Talent." I knew it to be true (he appointed my uncle to the federal bench upon the recommendation of then Deputy Attorney General Byron "Whizzer" White) but didn't realize the full scope.
It would be easy to give this book the five stars it probably deserves but I went with four only because, from my perspective, the loyalty muzzle is still a little too evident. While I can come up with a few other petty critiques there is just much too much to like about this book to make that worthwhile. Some readers may disagree with Sorensen's politics but it would be the rare iconoclast who cannot appreciate his insights and wonderful storytelling.
Mr. Sorensen is one of the last living central participants of JFK's Administration and his story would have value for this fact alone. Readers wishing to learn about presidential political campaigning, the art of speech writing, and more on such important historical events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the presidential transition from JFK to LBJ will profit from reading this book.
While material on his later private law practice is not as interesting as the rest of the text, this is only to be expected. In terms of his post White House career, I did find of value his description of his ill-fated nomination by President Carter as DCI and noted the fact there is little mention of President Clinton's years. (A prominent picture of Senator Obama and Ted Sorensen is in this book. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that the author sees the current junior senator from Illinois as his pick for this year's Democratic Party nominee for president--and the direct and true successor to JFK's legacy.)
It is a magnificent opus. The writing is superb. Rarely do the heart and head come together so well without sacrificing or compromising either.
Modest without being falsely self effacing, this truly is an indispensable book for any American citizen or world citizen. And its an absolute must for any political junkie from Al Franken to Ann Coulter.
Stop what you're doing. Run out and get it. Its a great gift for anyone's birthday in May (June is too late -- its that good).
Ted Sorensen is a historical figure in his own right. He was indispensable to Kennedy and now to Obama.
There are many reasons to read this book. Not just for its great insights with an unobscured and unobstructed perspective, but because of new information into the life of JFK whose reputation will be enhanced by this near reverential but still candid volume.
A mutual friend of Ted Sorensen's just forwarded me the first reviews including the Wall Street Journal. To say they were raves is to understate them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An honest memoir but Pro-Kennedy beyond belief. As JFK's closest aid for 11 years and his main speechwriter, Sorensen has a remarkable perspective on the "good 'ol days"... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Matt Bastian
I got this because Sorenson is a famed speechwriter, and I was interested in the field of speechwriting. It has limited value on that topic. Read morePublished 4 months ago by C. Dean
Great book and well packaged. For the Kennedy fan and you will not be disappointed.Published 12 months ago by Rocky
I noticed this book while looking for Sorensen's "Why I Am a Democrat" and decided to buy it. I'm glad I did because Sorensen was an excellent writer. Read morePublished 12 months ago by MemoriesMummiesMéxico
fascinating, very well written, and extremely interesting. i am no fan of jfk but cannot but admire his people's allegiance and dedication to him.Published 17 months ago by Sattina
Very good information about life inside the white house with Jack Kennedy. No sensationalism. Well writtenPublished 23 months ago by General Phil Sheridan