- 7,99 €
Before John F. Kennedy became a legendary young president he was the junior senator from Massachusetts. The Senate was where JFK's presidential ambitions were born and first realized. In the first book to deal exclusively with JFK's Senate years, author John T. Shaw looks at how the young Senator was able to catapult himself on the national stage. Tip O'Neill once quipped that Kennedy received more publicity for less accomplishment than anyone in Congress. But O'Neill didn't understand that Kennedy saw a different path to congressional influence and ultimately the presidency. Unlike Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic leader in the Senate, JFK never aspired to be "The Master of the Senate" who made deals and kept the institution under his control. Instead, he envisioned himself as a "Historian-Scholar-Statesman" in the mold of his hero Winston Churchill which he realized with the 1957 publication of Profiles of Courage that earned JFK a Pulitzer Prize and public limelight. Smart, dashing, irreverent and literary, the press could not get enough of him. Yet, largely overlooked has been Kennedy's tenure on a special Senate committee to identify the five greatest senators in American history—JFK's work on this special panel coalesced his relationships in Congress, and helped catapult him toward the presidency. Based on primary documents from JFK's Senate years as well as memoirs, oral histories, and interviews with his top aides, JFK in the Senate provides new insight into an underappreciated aspect of his political career.
Relying on archives, memoirs, and interviews with key players, Shaw, a senior congressional correspondent for Market News International, makes a convincing case for the importance of J.F.K.'s Senate years. This time frame is often referred to as simply a "stepping-stone" en route to the presidency, yet Shaw shows that during the nearly eight years that J.F.K. spent in the Senate (1953 1960), he "filled out physically, deepened intellectually, sharpened his writing skills" (it was during this time that J.F.K. published Profiles in Courage, for which he won a Pulitzer, despite claims that the book was primarily the work of his speechwriter, Ted Sorensen), "became a polished and effective speaker, and mastered the nuances of American politics." Shaw dutifully chronicles the highs and lows of J.F.K.'s senatorship, from his successful work on labor reform to his occasional PR gaffes, as well as the day-to-day minutiae that define a life in politics as much as platforms and policy opinions: overnight trains, a between-gig shave in a bowling alley bathroom, listening to tapes of Winston Churchill's wartime speeches. Filled with quotes from historians and Camelot contemporaries, Shaw's account deftly balances anecdote and analysis, making this a valuable read for those interested in both J.F.K. the pol and J.F.K. the person. Photos.