JFK in the Senate

JFK in the Senate

Pathway to the Presidency

Large Print - 2013
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Before John F. Kennedy became a legendary young president, he was the junior senator from Massachusetts. The Senate was where JFK's presidential ambitions were born and first realized. In the first book to deal exclusively with JFK's Senate years, author John T. Shaw looks at how the young senator was able to catapult himself on the national stage.
Publisher: Thorndike, Maine. :, Center Point Large Print,, 2013.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781611739473
Branch Call Number: LGPRINT BIO Kennedy J. 12/2013
Characteristics: 390 pages (large print) ;,23 cm.


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Jan 03, 2016

I find that most biographies about John F. Kennedy tend to gloss over his eight years in the Senate from 1953-1960. So when author John Shaw decided to focus exclusively on this period in JFK's life, I was definitely intrigued. Unfortunately, this book clearly falls short of expectations. At just over 200 pages (I read a different paperback version), I felt that a lot more context was needed for the reader's benefit. For example, the author reprints a Kennedy speech about a supposed "missile gap" existing between the Soviet Union and the US during the Eisenhower years. But Shaw fails to inform us that the supposed gap was complete bunk, as JFK found out once he became president. Also, the author - who is a clear Kennedy partisan - barely mentions the fact that JFK was "sick" on the day of the McCarthy censure vote or that he aligned with southern segregationists over the 1957 Civil Rights Act. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, Kennedy needed less profile and more courage during his Senate years. If you really want to learn about this time period, I would recommend 1960 by David Pietrusza.


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