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Profiles in Courage (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)

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THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING CLASSIC OF POLITICAL INTEGRITY With a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy and introduction by Caroline Kennedy John F. Kennedy's enduring classic resounds with timeless lessons on... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Don't pass this one up

"Profiles in Courage" does not belong to any of my preferred genres. I became interested in it after researching John Quincy Adams. The film "Amistad" started me down this path and eventually led to JFK's Pulitzer Prize winning book. It was written while he was still a Senator and focuses, for the most part, on historic politicians. Kennedy obviously admired these men, not for their great successes but for the personal price they all paid as a result of choosing to do what they felt was right.Each man gets at most a chapter, and so Kennedy limited himself to one or two important events in their political careers, often their last stand. Not only are these men admirable but they are also very real. He manages to show us the human, less than perfect, side of each while convincing us of their moral strength. Each chapter leaves you wanting to know more about these men, who helped to shape American history.The nice part about the book, and probably the key reason it won a Pulitzer, is that each event reads like a thriller. These are interesting stories and because Kennedy wrote them in chronological order with a few historic segues, the whole thing holds together to give us a better feel for the sweep of history. We willingly learn about the underlying currents that can inexorably drive a country in a certain direction."Profiles in Courage," is an easy read that teaches as it entertains. Kennedy seems to be encouraging us to look back at a past where "politician" was not a dirty word and in so doing, we are left with the suspicion that Kennedy himself, was trying to live up to those outmoded ideals. Knowing his fate, every word seems to have a poignant aura that makes it all the more memorable.

A must read for anybody who follows politics

JFK's profiles in courage, is simply a look at six differnent senetors who faced tough situations, and made the right choice. This book is about how people can overcome popular opinion and the pressure of their peers to make a desion that they know is right. What JFK points out is that while in hindsight many of these choices that were made by these politicans were very obviously correct, they went aginst overwhelming odds to what was right. If the people examined in this book had lacked this courage, the Lousiana purchace whould still be French, Andrew Johnson would have been expelled from office and congress would have almost totall power over this country. This is not a book with a lot of brilliant politcal commentary, but a book showing people just what pressures that people who are in high office face, and what characteristics they must have to overcome them. Everyone who votes should have to read this book, just so they can know what courage it has taken to build this country.
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