20th Century History of the U.S. Book Reviews From BookViral

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JFK's Ghost: Kennedy, Sorensen, and the Making of Profiles in Courage

20th Century History of the U.S.
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  • ASIN: ‎B096PV8FC8
  • Publisher: ‎Lyons Press (June 1, 2021)
  • Publication date: ‎June 1, 2021
  • Language: ‎English
  • Print length: ‎389 pages
  • Genre: 20th Century History of the U.S.

The BookViral Review:

Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted as saying “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.” And in the case of John F. Kennedy’s authorship of Profiles in Courage it proves a particularly poignant statement.

Written in 1955 by John F. Kennedy when he was a junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, Profiles in Courage quickly became required reading as a compelling, moving and a powerful testament to the indomitable American spirit and the most laudable of human virtues. But did he write it?

This is the subject of JFK’s Ghost and it makes for a unique and intimate read as Stokes combines meticulous research with compelling, and at times lyrical, prose to penetrate the mystery at the heart of JFK’s words.

An American Iliad and contemporary political reportage, Stokes does so much more than recount historical events, his commentary is by turn piercing, insightful and sometimes shocking in its revelations as he deconstructs the myth of JFK to give us a far more revealing account of a man who through a mixture ambition, stamina, and pure shamelessness has made him one of the most memorable of US Presidents.

Central to the controversy surrounding Profiles in Courage is the contribution of Ted Sorenson. Speechwriter for JFK and one of his closest advisers at the time of publication and here Stokes provides exhaustive evidence to support the widely held opinion that JFK’s contribution to Profiles in Courage was in truth very limited.

But to explore the role of Sorenson without exploring the wider-reaching machinations of influence that catapulted JFK to his presidency would have given us a far less convincing narrative and it’s in exploring the defining roles of figures like Joe Kennedy Sr., Evan Welling Thomas II and Dr. Jules Davids that Stokes particularly distinguishes himself.

A remarkable insight into the psyche of JFK and those with access to the corridors of power and influence. JFK’s Ghost: Kennedy, Sorensen, and the Making of Profiles in Courage proves an exceptional read and is unreservedly recommended.

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