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Let Every Nation Know with Audio CD Hardcover – April 17, 2006
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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.
*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
Top customer reviews
Foreign affairs were no better. The Bay of Pigs, a failed attempt to murder Castro, a poor showing in Vienna with Kruschev and the enduring legacy of Viet Nam.
Finally, his compulsive womanizing was legendary. How then, does he so consistently rank in the top five?
Dallek and Golway, authors of Let Every Nation Know cover these points and ask these questions in the preface. They also offer their explanation of Kennedy's long term popularity. War time heroics, diplomacy in the face of crisis (Cuban missiles) and inspiring rhetoric make the forty-six year old President forever young in our memories and a sentimental favorite. As they explain, the term sound bite had not been invented and Kennedy spoke in "literate paragraphs, and his speeches were filled with references to history and literature that have all but disappeared from American political discourse."
Even Kennedy's "inspirational rhetoric" wasn't immune from criticism. Theodore Sorensen, the man JFK called his "intellectual blood bank" was a gifted writer and adviser. Sorensen wrote much of the book for which Kennedy was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and many of the famous lines from the most memorable speeches. Still, when listening to the CD included with Let Every Nation Know, it's easy to forgive and forget.
The enthusiasm and sincerity come through loud and clear, charming and convincing listeners that what they are hearing is greatness itself. The CD evokes a range of emotions from the heat of the campaign, humor with supporters and Dubliners, a firm resolve directed to adversaries (Kruschev) and, finally, sadness hearing his brothers after "That Day".
An audio CD containing thirty-four tracks accompanies the book which is divided into four parts. First comes the pre-presidential speeches, then a section for each of the three years he served. The book supports the CD with summaries of each part and commentaries on the speeches. January 20, 2011, was the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's inauguration. Listening to him now makes it easy to slip into a sixties reverie and speculate on how different the world might be had he lived.
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I was five years old when he was killed.Read more