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Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy 1947 to 1963 Paperback – October 5, 1991

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy 1947 to 1963
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (October 5, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440504066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440504061
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By James Gallen VINE VOICE on December 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Whether you love John F. Kennedy or hate him, "Let the Word Go Forth" is a rewarding read for anyone interested in the 35th President or the America from which we are not very far removed. This book consists of excerpts from over 100 speeches made by John F. Kennedy during his political life. These is not a collection of quotations but a public career as portrayed in largely and totally complete speeches and statements. In these pages we are reminded of the lofty ideals, the wit and, a bit of the parochial politician which was John F. Kennedy.
For me, much of the value in this book lies not in what it tells us of Kennedy, but what it tells us about the country in which he lived. The things which were said, and which did not need to be said, and the language used tell us of an America different from the one in which we live today. To illustrate this I will discuss four of the speeches.

We begin with the Inaugural Address, probably Kennedy's most famous statement. The speech, which gave us several remembered lines, the most famous of which is "Ask not what your country can do for you,-ask what you can do for your country" is most notable for what it does not say. Read this speech from start to finish and you will find no mention of social security, health care, education, poverty, civil rights, highways or any of the domestic concerns which have held such center stage in recent public debate. It deals exclusively of foreign policy. What President since Kennedy would start his administration which such a challenge?

The second speech to which I would direct the reader's attention is the address to the Houston Ministerial Alliance on September 12, 1960.
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Format: Paperback
Born after his death on the opposite side of Pacific, I cannot clearly imagine what America had been like during administration of JFK.
Soviet Union threatning US with nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba. Black young men actually denied to enter his university. West Berlin in blockade. Ok, it's impossible for us to compare difficulties of those with the threats today's US faces but for sure the one of JFK's can never have been easy.
One of the greatest abilities (personalities) in JFK is to encourage people, in their difficult times, with his absolute power, vitality and sincereity of abundance. As Sorensen pointed out, perhaps sometimes his words conveyed messages of what was beyond or above people, couldn't be achieved as it's simply too difficult.
Nevertheless in my opinion, statesmen have to tell LONG vision, things people don't want to hear but need to while politicians merely telling what people want to hear. He's supposed to have made "a step" in many subjects, which later leads to one "thousand miles" as he always said.
Recently I watched movie "13 days" and, very impressed with his decisiveness, I just happened to want to go through his speeches all over again to have bumped into this book on Amazon.com. With it in mind that the author, Ted Sorensen, was a speech writer of JFK, I believed this was the one. I wasn't wrong.
The book is very organized, subject by subject, which makes it easy to find what you need in this book although I read this from cover to cover. With statements and interviews included, let alone all important speeches, you can have a clear picture for creeds of JFK's.
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JFK is always impressive, he is hard not to like. JFK is gone and Mr. Sorenson, speech writer for JFK, could have taken all the credit. Instead, Mr. Sorenson gave all the credit to JFK, refreshing honest. In Mr. Sorensons book, he included many speeches of JFK. I have no idea what he did not include.I leave that to experts on JFK, which I am not. What I can say is this is a great book, full of JFK words. Great book!
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