Counselor: Book summary and reviews of Counselor by Ted Sorensen

Counselor

A Life at the Edge of History

by Ted Sorensen

Counselor by Ted Sorensen X
Counselor by Ted Sorensen
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  • Published in USA  May 2008
    576 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

In this gripping memoir, John F. Kennedy's closest advisor recounts in full for the first time his experience counseling Kennedy through the most dramatic moments in American history.

Sorensen returns to January 1953, when he and the freshman senator from Massachusetts began their extraordinary professional and personal relationship. Rising from legislative assistant to speechwriter and advisor, the young lawyer from Nebraska worked closely with JFK on his most important speeches, as well as his book Profiles in Courage. Sorensen encouraged the junior senator's political ambitions—from a failed bid for the vice presidential nomination in 1956 to the successful presidential campaign in 1960, after which he was named Special Counsel to the President.

Sorensen describes in thrilling detail his experience advising JFK during some of the most crucial days of his presidency, from the decision to go to the moon to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when JFK requested that the thirty-four-year-old Sorensen draft the key letter to Khrushchev at the most critical point of the world's first nuclear confrontation. After Kennedy was assassinated, Sorensen stayed with President Johnson for a few months before leaving to write a biography of JFK. In 1968 he returned to Washington to help run Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. Through it all, Sorensen never lost sight of the ideals that brought him to Washington and to the White House, working tirelessly to promote and defend free, peaceful societies.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This graceful narrative by one of the last surviving members of the Kennedy administration is strongly recommended" - Library Journal.

"A colleague once praised Sorensen's ability to "use words that everybody can understand-intellectuals, milkmen, diplomats, politicians." The author does just that in this absorbing memoir." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Starred Review." - Publishers Weekly.

"Ted Sorensen’s words inspired a generation, and his counsel and judgment helped steer our nation through some of its most difficult hours. This gripping, candid memoir illuminates a revered era in American history. Sorensen has written a book that will be cherished for generations." - Barack Obama.

"This is an important book, and it’s also a poignant one. As Jackie Kennedy once said of a speech that Ted Sorensen gave about her husband, it captures not only the soul of John Kennedy but also the soul of Sorensen. This clear-eyed but loving memoir is fascinating." - Walter Isaacson.

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