John Fitzgerald Kennedy led his nation for little more than a thousand days, yet his presidency is intensely remembered, not merely as a byproduct of his tragic fate. Kennedy steered the nation away from the brink of nuclear war, initiated the first nuclear test ban treaty, created the Peace Corps, and launched America on its mission to the moon and beyond. JFK inspired a nation, particularly the massive generation of baby boomers, injecting hope and revitalizing faith in the American project
2013 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy's untimely death, a milestone to be marked by an avalanche of new books on his life and importance. Martin Sandler's The Letters of John F. Kennedy will stand out among them, as the only book that draws on letters from and to Kennedy, as collected at the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Drawn from more than two million letters on file at the library - many never before published - this project presents readers with a portrait of both Kennedy the politician and Kennedy the man, as well as the times he lived in.
Letters to and from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Clare Booth Luce, Pearl Buck, John Wayne, Albert Schweitzer, Linus Pauling, Willy Brandt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nikita Khruschev, Harry Truman, Herbert Hoover, a young John Kerry, and Ngo Dinh Diem are complemented by letters from ordinary citizens, schoolchildren, and concerned Americans. Each letter will be accompanied by lively and informative contextualization. Facsimiles of many letters will appear, along with photographs and other visual ephemera from the Kennedy Library and Museum.
"Sandler humanizes the near-mythical president through his own eloquent words in a way that both academics and casual readers will appreciate." - Publishers Weekly
"This lively, well-chosen compilation offers meaningful portraits from life in the Kennedy years. It will fascinate general readers as well as scholars of the era." - Library Journal
"Though remarkably comprehensive for its limited length, more of Kennedy's voice would have served Sandler's purpose better." - Kirkus
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Martin W. Sandler's many books on historical subjects include Kennedy Through the Lens and Lincoln Through the Lens; Resolute; and Lost to Time. He has taught American history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Smith College, and has won five Emmy Awards for his writing for television. He lives with his wife, Carol, in Cotuit, Massachusetts.
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