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This book intertwines history with political analysis. It seeks to find reasons, not to assign blame. It emphasizes the strong current of pacifism prevalent in Britain and elsewhere in much of Europe during the 1930s. It was this consensus of opinion which prevented Britannia's leaders from leading it into necessary preparations. Peace movements of that era advanced tenets which others would adopt later. The concept that arms lead to war and that unilateral disarmament would ensure peace would, after nearly costing the West its life, be resurrected during the Cold War. This work also points out how attitudes toward Germany changed during the decade. The Versailles Treaty had cut Germany down to size, in part, by granting independence to Austria and placing millions of Germans in Italy, Czechoslovakia and Poland. An appreciation gradually grew that the Versailles borders would not be perpetual and that some adjustment in Germany's favor was reasonable. For that reason, Hitler's early demands were afforded a hearing in England until increasing German aggression turned public opinion against its authors. As public opinion stiffened, so did British resolve to stand up to aggressors. Only then did rearmament have the political support to make it a a reality. England was then in a race for its life. Germany's clandestine preparation for aggression gave it a two year lead over its more peaceful rivals.Read more ›
What I find intriguing is that both of these books have always been available at major retail bookstores! (For example) Today, I can go into any Barnes & Noble retail store and find paperback copies of these two books for under $20. However, JFK's Why England Slept seems to have never undergone any similar paperback (nor hard cover) re-prints! It's always been, and still is, hard to find a copy. My public library has both 'Profiles In Courage' & 'A Nation Of Immigrants,' but does not offer Why England Slept! The only copies available are on the internat (Amazon & Ebay, etc), but they sell for $50 to $100 a copy! ???????????
I find this to be a very intriguing mystery for a book written by a very popular U.S. President! I have heard rumors that the book contains information that the "Anglo-American Establishment' wants censored!
I haven't heard any alternate explanations as to why this book is so hard to find and sooooooo expensive to purchase!
How can I say that? The book is dated, published in1940, originally JFK's senior thesis at Harvard.
I have to admit, as a young girl, part of my attraction to JFK, RFK and others of this family, was their amazing good looks and charisma revealed in so many photographs within a multitude of magazines and film reels of their public speeches.
However, actually reading what they have written and looking at the subject matter that they chose for their published books, I am struck by the depth of their intellect and grateful for their insights into topics of such great importance to our country and for the world. Even if they didn't write a word of their books, which I highly doubt, it can be said at least, that they surely were wise in their instruction and the person(s) they chose to write them.
This book was written to analyze what was happening within England before WWII began for them and in order to explain why they were so ill-equipped for the war when it started. Year by year up to 1940, JFK reveals the major events worldwide, the sentiments expressed by the British political parties and public, and the policies that resulted which affected munitions' numbers. Yet far from being a drab accountant's ledger of munitions numbers, JFK's book reveals his perceptive instinct which is surely a requisite character trait of someone who would receive for 1000 days the greatest power in office from one of the greatest countries in the world.
The title for this review was taken from a speech JFK never delivered as he was to speak at the Dallas Trade Mart that last day. The speech is really beautiful. Here are some excerpts:
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great analysis of a critical time in the history of democracy and an excellent blueprint for modern heads of state. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Lee F.
heard about this book from reading another book on WWII. jack was a great writer.Published 24 months ago by bearwolfmoose in Bozeman Montana
One should never expect too much from college students. They are learning how to write and organize their thoughts. Read morePublished on December 25, 2012 by Tim Lieder
The best part of this book is the voice of the writer which is alive and exerts power! Although the subject matter is complex it is clear that the writer fully understands what he... Read morePublished on December 22, 2012 by Dolores Taylor
"THIS IS THE BOOK JOHN F. KENNEDY WROTE WHEN HE WAS A HARVARD SENIOR
... the thesis that earned him graduation honors in international relations
... Read more