By Marc J. Selverstone
A better half to John F. Kennedy offers a finished choice of historiographical essays addressing the lifestyles and management of the nation’s thirty fifth president.
- Features unique contributions from prime Kennedy scholars
- Reassesses Kennedy, his management, and the period of the recent Frontier
- Reconsiders proper Kennedy scholarship and issues to new avenues of research
- Considers the foremost crises confronted by way of Kennedy, besides family concerns together with women’s concerns and civil rights
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Extra resources for A Companion to John F. Kennedy
Dallek devoted much less coverage to Kennedy’s many dalliances, most of which had been amply covered in previous studies. Only four brief references to Judith Campbell Exner existed, despite her links with mobster Sam Giancana. Kennedy’s sexual relationship with Ellen Rometsch, a suspected East German spy, received more coverage because of its potential threat to national security. Dallek’s reference to a “â•›‘tall, slender, beautiful’ nineteen-year-old college sophomore and White House intern” drew considerable news-media attention, however, when she was soon identified as Marion (Mimi) Beardsley Fahnestock, a prep school senior when she first met Kennedy in 1961 (Dallek 2003: 476).
WRITING KENNEDY 21 O’Brien wrote more sympathetically of Rose Kennedy’s mothering of a young Jack Kennedy than did Hamilton or Dallek, even though Papa Joe remained a negative influence. O’Brien also favorably chronicled Kennedy’s World War II service and gave him more credit for Profiles in Courage than did Parmet, myself, and others. Throughout, O’Brien adopted a balanced approach in assessing Kennedy’s private and public life. He covered Kennedy’s womanizing more extensively than any previous writer, while suggesting that JFK sometimes put the country and himself at risk by his affairs.
Kennedy’s brother Joe’s 1944 death in an aircraft explosion, Dallek discovered, could have been averted if the British had been alerted to turn off their coastal radar. Dallek added little to what was already known about Kennedy’s time in Congress. He did give Kennedy more credit for Profiles in Courage (1956) than others have done – most notably Parmet – while discarding the lobbying of Arthur Krock on Kennedy’s behalf for the coveted Pulitzer Prize. In covering Kennedy’s bid for the vice-presidential nomination in 1956, he also overlooked a letter that Kennedy’s father had written to son Ted in July that alluded to a planned story in the New York Post on JFK’s suspected Addison’s disease.
A Companion to John F. Kennedy by Marc J. Selverstone