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A Companion to John F. Kennedy

ISBN: 978-1-4443-5036-4
640 pages
June 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to John F. Kennedy (1444350366) cover image


A Companion to John F. Kennedy presents a comprehensive collection of historiographical essays addressing the life and administration of the nation’s 35th president.

  • Features original contributions from leading Kennedy scholars
  • Reassesses  Kennedy, his administration, and the era of the New Frontier
  • Reconsiders relevant Kennedy scholarship and points to new avenues of research
  • Considers the major crises faced by Kennedy, along with domestic issues including women’s issues and civil rights
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction 1
Marc J. Selverstone

Part I The Biographies 5

1. Writing Kennedy 7
James N. Giglio

Part II Politics before the Presidency 31

2. Kennedy in Congress 33
Donald A. Ritchie

3. The Election of 1960 51
William J. Rorabaugh

Part III Managing the Presidency 75

4. The First Family 77
Barbara A. Perry

5. Robert F. Kennedy 96
Joseph A. Palermo

6. Theodore Sorensen 115
Michael Brenes

7. The Action Intellectuals 133
John Dumbrell

8. Congress 152
Robert David Johnson

9. Civil–Military Relations 172
Erin R. Mahan

10. The Media 187
Aniko Bodroghkozy

Part IV Hot Spots 207

11. Berlin 209
Andreas W. Daum

12. Cuba 228
Alan McPherson

13. Laos 248
Seth Jacobs

14. Vietnam 269
Andrew Preston

Part V Global Challenges 289

15. Europe 291
Andrew Priest

16. Latin America 307
Jeffrey F. Taffet

17. The Middle East 328
April R. Summitt

18. Africa 347
Philip E. Muehlenbeck

19. The Sino–Soviet Split 366
Noam Kochavi

20. The Nonaligned World 384
Robert B. Rakove

21. Foreign Economic Policy 405
Thomas W. Zeiler

22. The Peace Corps 422
Nicole L. Anslover

23. Brushfi re Wars 436
Jeff Woods

24. Nuclear Issues 458
Philip Nash

25. The Moon Race 478
John M. Logsdon

Part VI Domestic Concerns 497

26. Kennedy and the Liberal Consensus 499
Lily Geismer

27. The Status of Women 519
MaryAnne Borrelli

28. Civil Rights 540
Derek C. Catsam

29. The Arts 558
Donna M. Binkiewicz

Part VII Dallas 571

30. The Assassination 573
John McAdams

Index 593

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Author Information

Marc Selverstone is Associate Professor and Chair of the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virgina’s Miller Center. He is the author of Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945–1950 (2009), which won the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is currently writing The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment to Vietnam.

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“Marc Selverstone has compiled an indispensable volume of essays on John F. Kennedy and his presidency, written by a stellar cast of scholars. What stands out in sharp relief in this wide-ranging and authoritative book is how consequential were Kennedy's thousand days for the United States and for the world, and how controversial is his legacy.”
-Fredrik Logevall, Stephen and Madeline Anbinder Professor of History, Cornell University

“Marc Selverstone has brought together a remarkable group of scholars who illuminate the many important ideas of, and events that occurred during, this brief administration. This book is the best record of the Kennedy years.”
-Alan Brinkley, Allan Nevins Professor of American History, Columbia University

"This collection of talented scholars and their research and thoughts on John F. Kennedy is an invaluable resource: a deeply informed conversation for the ages."
-Richard Reeves, writer, syndicated columnist, and senior lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California

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