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Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
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Profiles in Courage (1956)

by John F. Kennedy

Other authors: Alan Nevins (Foreword), Theodore C. Sorensen

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Senators who stood against the popular will, often including the will of their own states, in causes good and maybe not so good—Kennedy was extremely forgiving of various men who wished to preserve the Union by putting off the question of slavery to another day. Here’s Kennedy, writing words that we perhaps find hard to believe today: “The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people—faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect [those] who will exercise their conscientious judgment—faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor and ultimately recognize right.” I guess we’ll see whether we have that true democracy any more. ( )
  rivkat | Dec 23, 2016 |
Read this in the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. It is still one of the best books I have read. ( )
  Leenie3327 | May 30, 2016 |
I read this book at the turn of the millennium. If I remember correctly I tracked it down via the internet, possibly one of the first books I bought on the internet. Then again, I have a memory of talking on my cell phone to a sales representative, specifically asking for a hardback edition, which was successfully fulfilled. When I received the edition, I sat down every day after work for 30 to 45 minutes, reading a chapter or two. I was impressed by the praise JFK laid upon politicians, writers and public figures over the previous century or two, who stood up for their beliefs and did not relent to social norms, or political partisanship. Most of them were not politically successful in their philosophies, yet they stood strong against all those who disagreed and argued for a different direction. Instead of calling them martyrs or misunderstood, he called them courageous. The inspiration that drove him, is the inspiration that often drives me. For this, I am very thankful. ( )
  guhlitz | Nov 22, 2013 |
I found these sketches of courgeous political figures well-done and interesting, whethe JFK wrote them or not. As an Iowan I appreciated James Grimes being recognized as a man of courage--he certainly suffered for being such in his lifetime. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 9, 2013 |
I found this book rather interesting given the times we live in today. Much like many books written by famous people today, John McCain, Bethany Frankel, Pamela Anderson or any other person of fame, others write and the star gets the credit. There are those who question whether JFK wrote the book, his name is on the cover and he is credited with being the author.

The book is interesting because unfortunately in our time of partisan politics it is rare when someone bucks the majority and votes their conscience or what the country really needs. We need more politicians who look out for the country first and their narrow minded partisan groups last, right/left, Republican/Democrat, Liberal/Conservative.

A must read for the history major. ( )
  foof2you | Apr 5, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John F. Kennedyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nevins, AlanForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sorensen, Theodore C.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
He well knows what snares are spread about his path, from personal animosity...and possibly from popular delusion. But he has put to hazard his ease, his security, his interest, his power, even his...popularity...He is traduced and abused for his supposed motives. He will remember that obloquy is a necessary ingredient in the composition of all true glory: he will remember...that calumny and abuse are essential parts of triumph...He may live long, he may do much. But here is the summit. He never can exceed what he does this day. -Edmund Burke's eulogy of Charles James Fox for his attack upon the tyranny of the East India Company- House of Commons, December 1, 1783
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To my wife
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This is a book about the most admirable of human virtues--courage.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060854936, Paperback)

Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage served as a clarion call to every American. The inspiring true accounts of eight unsung heroic acts by American patriots at different junctures in our nation's history, Kennedy's book became required reading, an instant classic, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Now, a half-century later, it remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues.

This special "P.S." edition of Profiles in Courage commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the book's publication. Included in this new edition, along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, are Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews of the book, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:47 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Describes the courage and conviction demonstrated by eight great patriots at pivotal moments in American history.

» see all 4 descriptions

Legacy Library: John F. Kennedy

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