Monday, April 19, 2010

Kennedy. Theodore C. Sorenson (26)

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.

JFK: “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” p. 844. ………. JFK: “For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is the fact that we all inhabit this planet…all breathe the same air…all cherish our children’s future…. We are all mortal.” p. 844. ………. “This treaty is not the millennium…but it is an important first step—a step toward peace, a step toward reason, a step away from war…..” p. 831. ………. “In each of these presentations, he anticipated and answered with precision each argument raised in opposition.” p. 831. ………. [Paraphrase of Judge Learned Hand’s discourse on liberty]: “Peace…does not rest in charters and covenants alone…but in the hears and minds of al people…and if it is cast out there, then no act, no pact, no treaty, no organization can hope to preserve it…. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper…but strive to build…a desire for peace…in the hearts and minds of all our people.” p. 838. ………. JFK: “While maintaining our readiness for war, let us exhaust every avenue for peace.” p. 839.

To be concluded.

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