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Profiles in Courage (P.S.) Paperback – Bargain Price, April 1, 2006
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“A book that deserves reading by every American.” (Springfield Republican)
From the Inside Flap
Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage served as a clarion call to every American. The inspiring true accounts of eight unsung heroic acts by American patriots at different junctures in our nation's history, Kennedy's book became required reading, an instant classic, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Now, a half-century later, it remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues.
This special P.S. edition of Profiles in Courage commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the book's publication. Included in this new edition, along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, are Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews of the book, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award.--Springfield Republican
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A few of these Senators have recognizable names, but most do not. They are; John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Sam Houston, John C. Calhoun, Thomas Hart Benton, Edmund Ross, Lucius Lamar, George Norris, and Robert Taft. Only the last man did Kennedy ever meet and the rest were well-researched through biographies, autobiographies, archives, and newspapers.
Kennedy chose these men (no women Senators mentioned)) because they exhibited the integrity and boldness of politicians who were not always right in judgment, but withstood tremendous pressure by their party to fall into line and also terrible abuse by their friends as well as their constituents who felt betrayed. One nearly was thrown in a river. Another nearly hanged. They almost all lost reelection and ruined their political careers because a clear conscience and their constitutional duty meant far more to them. They hoped that in time their decisions would be recognized for their wisdom.
I certainly wish we had more of these kind of Senators today! Kennedy admitted that he couldn't think of a current Senator in 1956 who he could include in his book, besides Taft who retired very soon after Kennedy became a Senator. Would he be able to today? Perhaps.
Profiles in Courage was not simply inspirational for a person interested in the great burden and risk of being a conscientious Senator, but it helped me to understand a little better how rare such a Senator has always been and that voting for them is a privilege we didn't always have as private citizens. I learned a lot about the country's history, particularly how divisive slavery was, and about these fascinating, well-spoken men.
As a Nebraskan I'm thrilled to have learned that my conservative once had a “fighting liberal” Republican Senator in George Norris. Though he wasn't a snazzy dresser or smooth talker, he's responsible for limiting the power of the Speaker of the House and so much more. Nebraskans loved his integrity if not all of his actions. I'm going to read his autobiography.
John Quincy Adams, a young Federalist Senator, really delighted me. His vote allowed President Jefferson, an enemy, to cheaply purchase the Louisiana Purchase that so expanded the United States.
I highly recommend this book to all voting Americans in the hope that more of you will take the time to become interested in our government and vote with your conscience. It's one of the most important things you can do to improve your country and life. Thanks!
I purchased both the Kindle and the audiobook. I loved both of them but for distinctly different reasons. Within the audiobook there is a forward narrated by Caroline Kennedy, the president's daughter. The rest of the narration is done by the president's son. I would not have missed this chance to listen to these narrations and was quite moved by the experience. HOWEVER the AUDIOBOOK is ABRIDGED. Perhaps I should have known that. I will assume that it was my fault that I did not. There is so much more information in the Kindle that I would not have wanted to miss out on.
As is normal for me I did parallel reading as I worked my way through this book. I was happy to discover a biography authored by a then young Theodore Roosevelt about Senator Benton. I am ambivalent about Senator Benton, but that is not the point. I learned so much background information that I felt I had conducted a virtual 100 into level course on American History. It was a completely fulfilling reading, listening, and study experience. Thank You...