A monumental new history reveals how the transition of power from Eisenhower to Kennedy marked the culmination of a generational shift in American politics, policy, and culture.
After winning the presidency by a razor-thin victory on November 8, 1960, over Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s former vice president, John F. Kennedy became the thirty-fifth president of the United States. But beneath the stately veneers of both Ike and JFK, there was a complex and consequential rivalry.
In Rising Star, Setting Sun, John T. Shaw focuses on the intense ten-week transition between JFK’s electoral victory and his inauguration on January 20, 1961. In just over two months, America would transition into a new age, and nowhere was it more marked that in the generational and personal difference between these two men and their dueling visions for the country they led. The former general espoused frugality, prudence, and stewardship. The young political wunderkid embodied dramatic themes and sweeping social change.
Extensively researched and eloquently written, Shaw paints a vivid picture of what Time called a “turning point in the twentieth century” as Americans today find themselves poised on the cusp of another watershed moment in our nation’s history.