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JFK: Day by Day: A Chronicle of the 1,036 Days of John F. Kennedy's Presidency Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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Golway (Full of Grace) offers an objective, highly informative portrait of Kennedy's political career and family life. Entries are organized chronologically and written like news releases, opening with the geographic origin of each event. Sidebar time lines tick off important daily events on each double-page spread's right-hand edge. Relevant photographs offer another layer of valuable information. Occasionally, half pages are devoted to more detailed subject explanations, like the significance of Charles de Gaulle's growing influence. The organization allows readers to follow the trajectory of Kennedy's actions. The prose is straightforward and engaging. An excellent and revealing subject overview for students and general readers.
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All of the important events of Kennedy's presidency is included. From his inaugural address, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the creation of the Peace Corps, his Ich bin ein Berliner speech, among many others.
The book is an attempt to look at Kennedy objectively. While the bulk of the book is usually written in a positive fashion, the sidebars mention his infidelity or other flaws. Overall, I think it does the task decently.
Also included in the book are many photographs, many of them in full color.
As far as I can tell, there are not a lot of mistakes in the book. Sometimes a date does not seem correct. For example, Alan Shepard's spaceflight is mentioned as happening on May 4 when in actuality it happened on May 5. Small errors like this do not really detract from the overall quality of the book, though.
I enjoyed reading this book. I was born way after the Kennedy presidency, but it was very interesting looking at it day by day. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the U.S. Presidency, Kennedy (or Kennedys) in general, or even anyone who was alive back then.
Now JFK didn't do something noteworthy on every day of his presidency, so some days are left out. What remains is a remarkable voyage through the years in which America's idealism was kindled and America's foes faced squarely. Watching JFK stumble in his first months in office, especially after the debacle of the Bay of Pigs, makes it rather apparent that Soviet leaders saw him as a lightweight. October 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis was not, then, terribly surprising given that context. The book is full of these kinds of discoveries, as well as gossip (Jackie was too tired to attend all the Inaugural Balls) and plenty of photos.
Don't expect deep analysis from 100 days. Much of its entries are breezy and brief. And don't make the mistake a mere mention by Kennedy in a speech that such-and-such was a great concern meant that anything was ever done about it. But many difficult topics are at least touched upon. But it was amazing how many of JFK's lasting achievements - like the Peace Corps - were made very early on. On the dodgy side, JFK's multiple adulteries get their blurb, as do the lingering conspiracy theories about his death. His legacy is properly muted - especially in regards to Civil Rights and Vietnam - and shows a man tentatively committed to certain social goals rather than one who actively worked toward them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good, well researched look at an all too brief presidency.Published on August 22, 2014 by voracious reader
This was a gift for my niece on Christmas. She loved it, and it only took her a week to read the whole book!Published on October 12, 2013 by Angel
This is a good overall review of the JFK presidency. However, I am appalled that the authors (one of them a historian)and the editors did not realize that the first American manned... Read morePublished on July 28, 2012 by Walter Lang, Zürich, Switzerland
Having read the major works are JFK [Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr. "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House" (2002), Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner;... Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by C. B. Miller