We meet a young Jackie, follow their courtship, and watch their marriage in public and private. Dallek explores Kennedy's many infidelities, revealing some for the first time ever. An Unfinished Life also gives us a brilliantly detailed portrait of the deep bond between Jack and Bobby, and of their enduringly complicated relationship with their father.
Author says Drugs, Affairs Did Not Damage Kennedy Presidency
Never shying away from Kennedy's weaknesses, Dallek also brilliantly explores his strengths. The result is a full portrait of a bold, brave, human Kennedy, once again a hero. An Unfinished Life is the book Americans have been waiting forty years to read. Now, at long last, we have the definitive biography of Jack Kennedy.
He is currently a professor of history at Boston University. Lyndon Johnson and His Times, delivers what will most assuredly become the benchmark JFK biography for this generation. A master of the art of narrative history, Dallek is also the first biographer since Doris Kearns Goodwin to be granted unrestricted access to key Kennedy family papers most importantly, the Joseph and Rose Kennedy Papers in the JFK Library. This is a substantial and significant trove to which Dallek brings a refreshingly critical eye. He has also mined many nuggets of key information from the papers of JFK's colleagues, doctors and friends.
Thus Dallek has significant new ground to break on a range of fronts including but not limited to Kennedy's health, politics, personal recklessness and love affairs. Dallek's revelations about JFK's health, based on previously unavailable medical files maintained by Kennedy's personal physician, have already received significant publicity from the Atlantic excerpt in December But here Dallek expands on that information and reveals for the first time the full extent of the medical coverup orchestrated by the Kennedy family: On the political front, Dallek uses new inside information from a Kennedy associate to reveal the detailed mechanics and enormous scope of the use of Kennedy money to purchase the West Virginia primary in At the same time, Dallek has new evidence on both Jack's philandering and his recklessness.
During the same campaign on which his father spent millions, JFK risked it all by inviting an underage cheerleader to his hotel room. As is appropriate, close to two-thirds of this biography covers Kennedy's truncated presidency. In one of the book's most important sections, Dallek marshals new evidence that JFK did not view with favor the expansion of the war in Vietnam, and that he most likely would not have sanctioned such an expansion.
John F. Kennedy, An Unfinished Life by Robert Dallek
Throughout the book, Dallek stops short of worshipping his subject. He is a Kennedy admirer, but he never allows this admiration to cloud either his focus or his truth telling. Dallek is to be thanked for providing the thoroughly researched, well-sourced, responsible and readable biography that has for so long been wanting in Kennedy scholarship. All rights reserved All rights reserved. He has written the most accessible, balanced, and scholarly biography yet of JFK.
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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 , 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. The availability of new documents, oral histories, and telephone and Oval Office tapes prompted presidential historian Dallek Boston Univ. Kennedy's personal and political life. Archived from the original on 4 February Senator from Massachusetts — U.
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
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JFK, 'An Unfinished Life'
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