Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America

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Macmillan, 2005 M09 15 - 264 páginas
A close-up on one of American history's most magical events, JFK's inaugural week, and the creation of the speech that inspired a generation and brought hope to a nation

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." On the January morning when John F. Kennedy assumed the presidency and stood to speak those words, America was divided, its citizens torn by fears of war. Kennedy's speech-called the finest since Lincoln at Gettysburg and the most memorable of any twentieth-century American politician-did more than reassure: it changed lives, marking the start of a brief, optimistic era of struggle against "tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."

Ask Not is a beautifully detailed account of the week leading up to the inaugural which stands as one of the most moving spectacles in the history of American politics. At the heart of the narrative is Kennedy's quest to create a speech that would distill American dreams and empower a new generation. Thurston Clarke's portrait of JFK during what intimates called his happiest days is balanced, revealing the President at his most dazzlingly charismatic-and cunningly pragmatic. As the snow covers Washington in a blanket of white, as statesmen and celebrities arrive for candlelit festivities, the perfectionist Kennedy pushes himself to the limit, to find the words that would capture what he most truly believed and which would far outlast his own life. For everyone who seeks to understand the fascination with all things Kennedy, the answer can be found in Ask Not.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - briandrewz - LibraryThing

An interesting book about the creation of John F. Kennedy's most famous speech: his Inaugural Address. The book opens with the speech itself, and then proceeds to give us an account of the ten days ... Leer comentario completo

Ask not: the inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the speech that changed America

Crítica de los usuarios  - Not Available - Book Verdict

With its famous call to service, Kennedy's January 20, 1961, inaugural address more likely moved the nation, concludes the author, than affected the change claimed by the book's title. Clarke ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

PROLOGUE
1
C
3
THE WORDS
15
NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON
18
PALM BEACH
27
to January 15
38
WASHINGTON
113
January 20 1961 to the Present
202
Notes
217
PALM BEACH
239
Bibliography
245
Index
253
ON BOARD THE CAROLINE
256
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Acerca del autor (2005)

Thurston Clarke has written nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including Pearl Harbor Ghosts and California Fault, a New York Times notable book. His articles have been published in Vanity Fair, Glamour, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Willsboro, New York, with his wife and three daughters.

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