Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kennedy. Theodore C. Sorenson (7).

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.

“And if age, not experience, is the standard…then a maturity test excluding ‘from positions of trust and command all those below the age of forty-four would have kept Jefferson from writing the Declaration of Independence, Washington from commanding the Continental Army, Madison from fathering the Constitution…and Christopher Columbus from even discovering America.’ ” p. 172. ………. “The New Frontier…sums up not what I intend to offer the American people but what I intend to ask of them…holds out the promise of more sacrifice instead of more security.” p. 188. ………. “Upon the Caroline’s arrival in each major city, the advance man came on board to brief the Senator on names, faces and local color…. p. 194. ………. “Arriving several days before the candidate, they [advance men] worked with local party leaders to plan the schedule, determine the motorcade route, decide on platform sites and seating, turn out the crowds, work with the police and local press and distribute flags, press kits, and buttons.” p. 194. ………. “…preparing notes and outlines of local lore and issues for use in brief talks at airports, train stations and shopping centers.” p. 199.

To be continued.

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