Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kennedy. Theodore C. Sorenson (10)

Special Counsel to the Late President. New York: Bantam Books. 1966.

Why read it? To understand Kennedy’s philosophy of the Presidency. His humor. His wisdom. He could think on his feet. His ability to own up to his mistakes and to learn from them. To appreciate the vast range of responsibilities faced by the President. His style. You won’t learn any of the details of his extra-marital affairs in this book. It focuses on John Kennedy, an American who was elected President by one of the narrowest margins in history. He instilled a spirit of confidence in the American people, and his assassination destroyed that spirit.

“…civility is not a sign of weakness.” p. 277. ………. “Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.” p. 277. ………. “All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days…nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet…but let us begin.” p. 277. ………. Of the Cabinet: “All spoke with the same low-keyed restraint that marked their chief.” p. 287. ………. “John Kennedy, in selecting his associates, did not pretend or attempt to achieve an average cross-section of the country—he wanted the best.” p. 288. ………. “…in his Administration, Cabinet members could make recommendations on major matters, but only the President could make decisions.” p. 289.

To be continued.

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