A Question of Character : A Life of John F Kennedy

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9780029259658: A Question of Character : A Life of John F Kennedy

Questioning how the less than exemplary life of JFK related to the actions and decisions of his public career, Thomas Reeves probes the bewildering vagaries of Kennedy's character. He shows in particular the effects of his father's ruthless political tutelage and follows JFK through a career marked by an ever widening gap between the public image of a courageous and caring intellectual leader and the private reality of indifference to those values of fidelity, compassion, and concern he extolled. Drawing extensively on both published and archival materials, Reeves shows how "the best and the brightest" whom Kennedy attracted in life glorified him in death and transformed a man personally and politically ambivalent about such issues as civil rights into the fallen champion of the subsequent reforms of the Great Society.

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From the Inside Flap:

No issue is more hotly debated than how, or even if, a politician's private life affects his public competence. In A Question of Character John F. Kennedy's two lives?public and private?are examined to answer this timely question. Respected historian and biographer Thomas C. Reeves reveals discrepancies between JFK's public persona, which has reached mythic proportions, and his scandalous private behavior. Most illuminating is the constant theme or Joe Kennedy's almost total control of JFK's behavior and politics throughout most of his son's career.

"The John Kennedy who emerges from these pages was not a man of good moral character. He was reared not to be good but to win." ? Los Angeles Times

Reeves has provided the most truthful and balanced assessment of John F. Kennedy to date. Written more in sorrow than in anger, A Question of Character explores the sensitive and difficult question of how people, and history itself, ought to judge the relationship between personal character and national leadership.

From the Back Cover:

"Readers interested in a serious revisionist examination of Kennedy's life and record should look at A Question of Character, . . . a book that, judging by Hersh's 'Chapter Notes,' seems not to have come to his attention. If it had, perhaps we would have been spared The Dark Side of Camelot."— Jonathan Yardley, in his Washington Post review of Seymour Hersh's The Dark Side of Camelot.
"The John Kennedy who emerges from these pages was not a man of good moral character. He was reared not to be good but to win."Los Angeles Times
"It is the Marilyn Monroe chapter that speaks the loudest in this book of the incredible hubris of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. You have to read it to believe it."— Liz Smith

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