Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kennedy. Theodore C. Sorenson (15).

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.

“In general his respect for artistic excellence exceeded his appreciation.” p. 433. ………. “Variety was the keynote of his reading habits…history, biography and current affairs dominated his list.” p. 434. ………. “He studied The Guns of August, an account of the origins of the First World War, as a warning to his own generation.” p. 435. ………. “I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in  politics but for our contributions to the human spirit.” p. 436. ………. “What he could not accomplish through legislation---to fight recession, inflation, race discrimination and other problems—he sought to accomplish through Executive Orders, proclamations, contingency funds, inherent powers, unused statutes, transfers of appropriations, reorganization plans, patronage, procurement pardons, Presidential memos, public speeches and private pressures.” p. 437. [I don’t understand what “reorganization plans” and “procurement pardons” mean. RayS.]

To be continued

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