John F. Kennedy: A Biography


As president during one of the most tumultuous time periods in American history, John F. Kennedy faced the challenges of the Vietnam War, the incendiary transition from racial segregation to civil rights, the space race, and the volatile Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy's actions in these and other pivotal events established him as one of the great American leaders.

John F. Kennedy is revered as one of the United States' most iconic and inspirational presidents. Among his historic accomplishments, however, Kennedy was also a human being who made tragic miscalculations in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, publicly expressed doubts about democracy, and supported the use of fear-based tactics to manipulate the American people.

John F. Kennedy: A Biography provides background information about the Kennedy family in the early 20th century, describes the rise of Joseph P. Kennedy as a major figure in American life, and chronicles the subsequent emergence of his second son, John F. Kennedy, as a leading figure in American politics. The authors provide a fascinating look at how the characteristics of a 23-year-old John F. Kennedy in 1940 were borne out in his performance as president two decades later.


  • Includes rarely seen materials from Kennedy's books, writings, speeches, and meetings with advisors
  • Provides a historical chronology of John F. Kennedy's life from the emergence of the Kennedy family in the early 20th century to his assassination in 1963
  • Includes historical maps, such as a map of Germany in 1961
  • Contains numerous photographs of the parents and family of John F. Kennedy and Kennedy himself throughout his life
  • A bibliography lists major primary and secondary sources on Kennedy and his times


  • Demonstrates how Kennedy developed his ideals in his youth, held to those views throughout his life, and made use of these concepts as president
  • Presents little-known characteristics of Kennedy, such as his willingness to use fear to gain office and to manipulate public opinion during the crises of his presidency
  • Reveals Kennedy as a leader who made serious blunders and subsequently resorted to rough tactics to demonstrate his resolve


History and Political Science

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© 2011 Greenwood Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jul 2011