[Ebook] ↠ Profiles in Courage Author John F. Kennedy – Thomashillier.co.uk

Profiles in Courage The Pulitzer Prize Winning Classic By President John F Kennedy, With An Introduction By Caroline Kennedy And A Foreword By Robert F Kennedy.Written In 1955 By The Then Junior Senator From The State Of Massachusetts, John F Kennedy S Profiles In Courage Serves As A Clarion Call To Every American.In This Book Kennedy Chose Eight Of His Historical Colleagues To Profile For Their Acts Of Astounding Integrity In The Face Of Overwhelming Opposition These Heroes, Coming From Different Junctures In Our Nation S History, Include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, And Robert A Taft.Now, A Half Century Later, The Book Remains A Moving, Powerful, And Relevant Testament To The Indomitable National Spirit And An Unparalleled Celebration Of That Most Noble Of Human Virtues It Resounds With Timeless Lessons On The Most Cherished Of Virtues And Is A Powerful Reminder Of The Strength Of The Human Spirit Profiles In Courage Is As Robert Kennedy States In The Foreword Not Just Stories Of The Past But A Book Of Hope And Confidence For The Future What Happens To The Country, To The World, Depends On What We Do With What Others Have Left Us Along With Vintage Photographs And An Extensive Author Biography, This Book Features Kennedy S Correspondence About The Writing Project, Contemporary Reviews, A Letter From Ernest Hemingway, And Two Rousing Speeches From Recipients Of The Profile In Courage Award Introduction By John F Kennedy S Daughter Caroline Kennedy, Forward By John F Kennedy S Brother Robert F Kennedy.


10 thoughts on “Profiles in Courage

  1. says:

    Modern American politics is so staggeringly and paralyzingly depressing that this book is refreshing to re visit It is important to be reminded that statesmanship, public service and sincere ideology are not just words in history books.Written while John F Kennedy was a senator himself, this testament of bravery and integrity is inspiring Partisan politics is to me repellant However, one of the points made by Kennedy, represented and illustrated on virtually every page, is that American poli Modern American politics is so staggeringly and paralyzingly depressing that this book is refreshing to re visit It is important to be reminded that statesmanship, public service and sincere ideology are not just words in history books.Written while John F Kennedy was a senator himself, this testament of bravery and integrity is inspiring Partisan politics is to me repellant However, one of the points made by Kennedy, represented and illustrated on virtually every page, is that American politics have always been ugly There is no golden era that we can look back to upon which we can cast an idyllic thought Cronyism, sectionalism, corruption and prioritization of special interests over the national good are unfortunately allthe rule than the exception The exception, Kennedy describes, is when political leaders take a stand of conscience, often sacrificing political careers and comfortable positions of power to represent an ideal a great idea that is too frequently politically unpopular.Organized into brief essays on a particular senator and in a pivotal time and place, Kennedy sheds light on political leaders, many of whom have been forgotten by history, who took a stand and demonstrated courage and zeal for principle overnarrow minded and temporal concerns Vituperative I cannot pass this up I have ran across this word a handful of times over the course of a long career of scholarship and recreational reading, yet this obscure word was written no fewer than a half dozen times by Kennedy in this Pulitzer winning book Webster defines vituperative as adjective vi tu per a tive v t p r tiv, p r uttering or given to censure containing or characterized by verbal abuse A defining term that is no doubt well placed in a discourse on American politics.For nay saying, disenfranchised cynics like me and for the still hopeful, this is recommended reading especially in today s fractured political climate


  2. says:

    A man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures and that is the basis of all human moralityJohn F Kennedy, Profiles in Courage It is now almost tradition that presidential candidates will publish a book prior to campaigning for the highest elected office Profiles in Courage, however, was one of the earliest and most successful of these campaign books While Kennedy largely wrote the beginning and the end of the book, the prA man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures and that is the basis of all human moralityJohn F Kennedy, Profiles in Courage It is now almost tradition that presidential candidates will publish a book prior to campaigning for the highest elected office Profiles in Courage, however, was one of the earliest and most successful of these campaign books While Kennedy largely wrote the beginning and the end of the book, the profiles of the senators profiled in this book were largely written by Ted Sorenson.The book also won the Pulitzer Prize, but when viewed objectively is best seen ashype than history This doesn t mean the book isn t good and interesting It certainly was brilliant in providinglight andprestige on this young Senator from Massachusetts, but it is hard to also take the book completely serious as history Perhaps, I m too cynical Perhaps, I m too narrow, but it seemscontrived than commendable,packaged than pleasurable, anddirected at increasing Kennedy s profile than increasing American courage This comes from a comment often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that she wished Kennedy had a little less profile andcourage


  3. says:

    I read this shortly after JFK died I attended high school in Arlington, Virginia during his presidency, and stood a few hundred yards from his grave site along with thousands of others when he was buried Profiles introduced me to the idea that people, even those in power, make choices And their choices matter.I didn t know then that it was ghost written for him by one of his speech writers, but I was immediately aware that the book was written from an angle , even though I didn t know what I read this shortly after JFK died I attended high school in Arlington, Virginia during his presidency, and stood a few hundred yards from his grave site along with thousands of others when he was buried Profiles introduced me to the idea that people, even those in power, make choices And their choices matter.I didn t know then that it was ghost written for him by one of his speech writers, but I was immediately aware that the book was written from an angle , even though I didn t know what that angle was It was my introduction to the intellectual basis of partisan politics Prior to reading Profiles all my experience with politics had been names, labels and slogans So, in a manner of speaking, Profiles in Courage was a coming of age book for me While others of my generation got sweating palms over Catcher in the Rye, my spirit was pulled by Profiles and, believe it or not, Lord of the Rings Both describe making choices and that those choices mattering


  4. says:

    Once upon a time yeah, when I look at the cover of Profiles in Courage now, I start thinking about fairy tales And I cry Anybody else need a cup of tea and a bedtime story Once upon a time, in the room where it happens Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton , there were officeholders who made yugely courageous choices John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Edmund G Ross to name a few They put principle above party, above popularity, above position Imagine that believe it, or fact check Once upon a time yeah, when I look at the cover of Profiles in Courage now, I start thinking about fairy tales And I cry Anybody else need a cup of tea and a bedtime story Once upon a time, in the room where it happens Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton , there were officeholders who made yugely courageous choices John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Edmund G Ross to name a few They put principle above party, above popularity, above position Imagine that believe it, or fact check this stuff Think it s a conspiracy theory Uh, now might be a good time to stop reading my comments Fast forward and imagine party leaders unambiguous, unequivocal, unwavering rejection of their uninformed, unscrupulous, unhinged nominee for the US Presidency Pleasant fantasy fairy tale Most, of course, chose and keep choosing post election the almost unimaginable because their imaginations extend nowhere beyond their offices except, perhaps, to higher offices Would that a majority of elected officials had the courage of the US Senators written about by then Senator John F Kennedy Would that American voters required their representatives to reveal conscience and courage Would that all of us remember what some of us forgot and some of us never realized I n a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, holds office every one of us is in a position of responsibility and, in the final analysis, the kind of government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities W e will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve Kennedy 209.Let s move JFK s gift to us from the fairy tale shelf back to the nonfiction history biography shelf, where it belongs


  5. says:

    When I first read it as an impressionable teen, Profiles In Courage was an uplifting book, a well researched, well written history of 8 Americans of varying political affiliations who demonstrated astounding integrity in their day But given today s preponderance of craven lockstep loyalty in DC, anybody reading it now might consider it fantasy fiction I d write a book called Profiles in Cowardliness myself, but who wants to read a 10,000 page book JFK must be spinning so forcefully in his When I first read it as an impressionable teen, Profiles In Courage was an uplifting book, a well researched, well written history of 8 Americans of varying political affiliations who demonstrated astounding integrity in their day But given today s preponderance of craven lockstep loyalty in DC, anybody reading it now might consider it fantasy fiction I d write a book called Profiles in Cowardliness myself, but who wants to read a 10,000 page book JFK must be spinning so forcefully in his grave, by now he has probably roto rootered himself from Arlington National Cemetery to Los Angeles


  6. says:

    Kennedy was, and still is, many things to many people, but one of his aspects that doesn t get as much attention as it should is his writing Profiles in Courage is a focused review of eight Senators in US history, chronicling instances where that man defied the pressures of various forces his party, his state legislature, his President, but above all his constituents the American people in a moment of national crisis, enduring insults from all sides in the conviction that the fevers of the Kennedy was, and still is, many things to many people, but one of his aspects that doesn t get as much attention as it should is his writing Profiles in Courage is a focused review of eight Senators in US history, chronicling instances where that man defied the pressures of various forces his party, his state legislature, his President, but above all his constituents the American people in a moment of national crisis, enduring insults from all sides in the conviction that the fevers of the moment would eventually pass and their lonely stands would be vindicated by history Now, I personally happen to believe that there are few institutionscontemptible than the Senate, and I think that this prejudice is rightly shared by anyone regardless of partisanship who has paid even a bit of attention to the almost unbelievably corrupt bargains that take place there see TARP, the stimulus, health care reform, financial reform , so I was less than thrilled at the prospect of reading a self congratulatory Kennedy was a sitting Senator when he wrote the book paean to one of the sorriest gangs of grand es in history But by the end of it I was extremely impressed, not only by its scholarship and writing quality, but that Kennedy had actually made me admire some Senators of the United States The underlying theme is that in order to tell the difference between an actual act of courage and your everyday Lieberman or Collins ish fit of unprincipled to thine own lobbyist be true petulance, the Senator in question has to be acting out of loyalty to both the future of the country, and to their own inner moral voice This is how Kennedy can group Sam Houston s refusal to vote for Texas to join the Confederacy with George Norris filibuster of the Armed Ship Bill in the runup to World War 1 in each case, the Senator was confronted with the dilemma of a clash between their own carefully reasoned personal convictions, and their sense that they should represent the wishes of the people in their states Kennedy was elected after the passage of the 17th Amendment, and discusses it in the fascinating final chapter, where he raises many good questions What s the most democratic method to counter the flaws of democracy When should the need for compromise outweigh the need to take a stand Does it really serve the national interest to allow one man to obstruct everyone else Should men subdue their own consciences in the interests of their party and their cause, or vice versa He also links his notion of political courage to the virtue that everyday normal people would consider courage, thus placing the book a step above a mere political biography Kennedy s Pulitzer was well deserved, even if his adviser Ted Sorensen wrote a good deal of it I d previously thought that Barack Obama s books were fairly well written, but this blew them away


  7. says:

    I first read this book in my teens when I was very much a Kennedy admirer These days, I m decidedly ambivalent about him and his presidency, and rather emblematic of that is what I ve learned of this Pulitzer Prize winning book since first reading it By all rights, the byline for this book should read Ted Sorenson, not John F Kennedy In his autobiography, Counselor, Sorenson admitted what had been rud for years that he largely researched and wrote Kennedy s book for him, writing the fi I first read this book in my teens when I was very much a Kennedy admirer These days, I m decidedly ambivalent about him and his presidency, and rather emblematic of that is what I ve learned of this Pulitzer Prize winning book since first reading it By all rights, the byline for this book should read Ted Sorenson, not John F Kennedy In his autobiography, Counselor, Sorenson admitted what had been rud for years that he largely researched and wrote Kennedy s book for him, writing the first draft of most chapters At best, it was a collaboration, but one heavily weighted towards Sorenson As he explained, While in Washington, I received from Florida almost daily instructions and requests by letter and telephone books to send, memoranda to draft, sources to check, materials to assemble, and Dictaphone drafts or revisions of early chapters So Kennedy did oversee the production, but much of the writing isn t his.Herbert Parmet, a historian who wrote a book on Kennedy, analyzing Profiles in Courage does believe Kennedy largely wrote the opening and closing thematic chapters, and those are I think the parts of the book of enduring historical interest given his presidency In them Kennedy lays out a philosophy of governance Elected representatives, Kennedy avers, should not serve merely as a seismograph to record shifts in popular opinion I ve seen some reviewers lambast that view, claiming that for elected representatives to go against their constituencies, whatever their own views, is undemocratic Personally, I d counter that America is not a democracy, not a direct one, and was never designed to be We re a republic We elect representatives who are supposed to exercise their best judgement, then defend it to their constituencies who are then free to elect someone else if they don t agree I m with Kennedy on that.Kennedy did apparently come up with the idea of the book stories of eight United States Senators who cast unpopular, potentially career ending votes The profiles included some names I think will be familiar to anyone acquainted with American History John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Sam Houston and Robert Taft The other names are muchobscure, although I found the story of Edmund G Ross, who cast the deciding vote not to impeach President Andrew Johnson, the most memorable in the book Although not mentioned is that there is considerable evidence Ross was bribed for his vote But that wouldn t make for a profile of courage, would it All in all, I did find the stories entertaining, but insightful, impressive works of history worthy of an award No But I think those opening and closing chapters, Courage in Politics and The Meaning of Courage well worth reading and thinking about for anyone interested in politics, particularly the American system That s why in my estimation the book is worth a three star rating, whatever its genesis and flaws


  8. says:

    The perfect book for a poli sci junkie like myself, especially one who s always admired John F Kennedy Although President Kennedy takes a very small role in the book, the idea that he explores of courage in the life of politics is fascinating Especially during a time when politicians have taken on such a tarnished image, a brief insight into a few of their lives gives an incredible understanding of the difficulty involved in the positions they hold I would definitely recommend this book to an The perfect book for a poli sci junkie like myself, especially one who s always admired John F Kennedy Although President Kennedy takes a very small role in the book, the idea that he explores of courage in the life of politics is fascinating Especially during a time when politicians have taken on such a tarnished image, a brief insight into a few of their lives gives an incredible understanding of the difficulty involved in the positions they hold I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in US history and or political science a fascinating read


  9. says:

    I don t think I could have read this book in high school and had any sense of timing for most of the senators profiled I lived in Houston for a bit and of course heard about Sam Houston, but I never thought about the Civil War happening on the heels of Texas statehood I thought the two sections on Presidental sons John Quincy Adams and Robert Taft were interesting on how they cope with being political families Kennedy adds the chapter at the end about how the book is about being courageous, I don t think I could have read this book in high school and had any sense of timing for most of the senators profiled I lived in Houston for a bit and of course heard about Sam Houston, but I never thought about the Civil War happening on the heels of Texas statehood I thought the two sections on Presidental sons John Quincy Adams and Robert Taft were interesting on how they cope with being political families Kennedy adds the chapter at the end about how the book is about being courageous, not necessarily right Isn t that always the problem When is it worth it to stick your neck out


  10. says:

    Took me a lifetime of reading history to really appreciate this book Kennedy wrote so eloquently of individuals who exemplified courage by going against the grain at great risk to their personal security Sometimes you just have to follow your gut instincts regardless of what others say or do These Senators were men of tenacity who believed in their personal principles though it cost them dearly in terms of harsh public opinion and damage to their reputations Fortunately for them, history has Took me a lifetime of reading history to really appreciate this book Kennedy wrote so eloquently of individuals who exemplified courage by going against the grain at great risk to their personal security Sometimes you just have to follow your gut instincts regardless of what others say or do These Senators were men of tenacity who believed in their personal principles though it cost them dearly in terms of harsh public opinion and damage to their reputations Fortunately for them, history has a way of proving the causes of the just even despite our very human flaws


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