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An unfinished life : John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 / Robert Dallek.

By: Dallek, Robert.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Boston : Little, Brown, and Co., c2003Edition: 1st ed.Description: x, 838 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. 25 cm.ISBN: 0316172383; 9780316172387.Subject(s): Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 | Presidents -- United States -- BiographyDDC classification: 973.922/092 | B Other classification: 15.85 | NQ 8455
Contents:
Growing Up -- Beginnings -- Privileged Youth -- The Terrors of Life -- Public Service -- Choosing Politics -- The Congressman -- The Senator -- Can a Catholic Become President? -- Nomination -- Election -- The President -- The Torch Is Passed -- The Schooling of a President -- A World of Troubles -- Crisis Manager -- Reluctant Warrior -- The Limits of Power -- Frustrations and "Botches" -- To the Brink--And Back -- New Departures: Domestic Affairs -- New Departures: Foreign Affairs -- An Unfinished Presidency.
Summary: An unfinished life is the first major, single-volume life of John F. Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades. Robert Dallek draws upon previously unavailable material and never-before-opened archives to tell Kennedy's story. We learn just how sick Kennedy was, what medications he took and concealed from all but a few, and how severely his medical condition affected his actions as President. We also learn the real story of how Bobby was selected as Attorney General. Dallek reveals exactly what Jack's father did to help his election to the presidency, and he follows previously unknown evidence to show what path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement had he survived. Dallek shows that while Kennedy was the son of privilege, he faced great obstacles and fought on with remarkable courage. Never shying away from Kennedy's weaknesses, Dallek also explores his strengths. The result is a portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E842 .D28 2003 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001615202

Includes bibliographical references (p. [805]-811) and index.

An unfinished life is the first major, single-volume life of John F. Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades. Robert Dallek draws upon previously unavailable material and never-before-opened archives to tell Kennedy's story. We learn just how sick Kennedy was, what medications he took and concealed from all but a few, and how severely his medical condition affected his actions as President. We also learn the real story of how Bobby was selected as Attorney General. Dallek reveals exactly what Jack's father did to help his election to the presidency, and he follows previously unknown evidence to show what path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement had he survived. Dallek shows that while Kennedy was the son of privilege, he faced great obstacles and fought on with remarkable courage. Never shying away from Kennedy's weaknesses, Dallek also explores his strengths. The result is a portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero.

Growing Up -- Beginnings -- Privileged Youth -- The Terrors of Life -- Public Service -- Choosing Politics -- The Congressman -- The Senator -- Can a Catholic Become President? -- Nomination -- Election -- The President -- The Torch Is Passed -- The Schooling of a President -- A World of Troubles -- Crisis Manager -- Reluctant Warrior -- The Limits of Power -- Frustrations and "Botches" -- To the Brink--And Back -- New Departures: Domestic Affairs -- New Departures: Foreign Affairs -- An Unfinished Presidency.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Dallek has done here for Kennedy what he did for Lyndon Johnson (Lone Star Rising and Flawed Giant). He has written the most accessible, balanced, and scholarly biography yet of JFK. Given access to more records about Kennedy than any previous biographer, he concludes that the Addison's disease and chronic back pain Kennedy endured most of his life resulted from steroid injections he received for a variety of childhood illnesses. The outstanding feature of the book is that Dallek praises and faults Kennedy without the emotionalism that detracted from many earlier biographies. Kennedy is criticized for his well-documented womanizing and for taking a political instead of a principled stand on civil rights while President because he didn't want to risk losing the considerable support of Southern Democrats. Kennedy, once reelected in 1964, would have removed American troops from Vietnam, suggests the author, a theme also advanced by Howard Jones in Death of a Generation. Dallek acknowledges that this is not the final account of Kennedy; as more documents become available, new interpretations and different conclusions will be forthcoming. For now and the immediate future, it is the Kennedy biography against which others will be measured. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

The availability of new documents, oral histories, and telephone and Oval Office tapes prompted presidential historian Dallek (Boston Univ.) to revisit John F. Kennedy's personal and political life. Dallek's research in medical records demonstrates that Kennedy was sick throughout his life. Beyond back problems and Addison's disease, an adrenal insufficiency, Kennedy suffered from acute gastrointestinal illnesses. Dallek suggests that the medicines doctors administered to the young Kennedy for his colitis and digestive problems may have exacerbated his back problems and Addison's disease. The author also discovered that among President Kennedy's numerous mistresses was a White House intern of college age, but judges that neither Kennedy's health nor his womanizing impaired his presidential performance. Scholars will find, however, little that is new about Kennedy's presidential policies. Dallek's discussions of the Bay of Pigs, Berlin Crisis, nuclear arms race, and Cuban Missile Crisis are pedestrian and ordinary. He offers no new insights into covert interventions in areas such as Brazil and British Guiana. Dallek speculates that, during a second term, Kennedy would have limited US involvement in Vietnam, but President Johnson could reasonably conclude that he was continuing his predecessor's Vietnam policies. Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries. General Readers; Lower-division Undergraduates; Upper-division Undergraduates; Graduate Students; Researchers/Faculty; Two-year Technical Program Students; Professionals/Practitioners. Reviewed by S. G. Rabe.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Robert Dallek is currently a professor of history at Boston University.

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