The Presidency of John F. Kennedy
Second Edition, Revised
James N. Giglio
The presidency of John F. Kennedy continues to fascinate, even as it also continues to inspire heated debates between admirers and detractors of Camelot's fallen king. Now readers can gain a new appreciation of JFK in this thoroughly revised and updated edition of James Giglio's bestselling study, widely acclaimed as the best and most balanced book on JFK's White House years.
Giglio incorporates the voluminous archival materials made available in the last fifteen years, including the declassified documents on crucial foreign policy affairs and White House medical records that contradict the image of Kennedy's youth and vigor. He stresses the extent to which domestic and foreign policies were interconnected at a time when the Cold War dominated national life and reveals his new appreciation for JFK's prudence in his handling of such enormous challenges as the Cuban missile crisis and the emerging war in Vietnam.
“From the reviews of the first edition:
This book is more than merely interesting; its narrations of the major crises of the Kennedy presidency—the Bay of Pigs, civil rights, the Cuban missile emergency—are riveting.”
—American Historical Review
“A balanced and thoughtful account that avoids the hagiography or damnation of so many other JFK bios, revealing the man in all his complexity.”
—KirkusSee all reviews...
“Giglio’s revised edition makes an excellent book even better. His brisk account brings JFK alive with all his strengths and weaknesses during a pivotal era in modern U.S. history. . . . Must reading for those who need to know why he still matters so much.”
—Steven F. Lawson, author of Civil Rights CrossroadsSee fewer reviews...
Giglio shows Kennedy to be "the most medicated, one of the most courageous, and perhaps the most self-absorbed of our presidents." He reviews the physical ailments and heavy prescriptions that were kept out of the public eye and catalogs sexual indiscretions ranging from Marilyn Monroe and socialite Florence Pritchett to low-level White House employees and even virtual strangers. Surveying this field of conquest, Giglio suggests that JFK's sexual obsession could easily have affected his presidency even more during a second term. His work also amplifies coverage of key issues like civil rights, the Cuban missile crisis, and Vietnam and reevaluates many of the questions surrounding the assassination—maintaining that, even with the existence of a conspiracy still doubtful, the case is far from closed.
Like the first edition, this new edition provides a sharp and thoughtful analysis of both domestic and foreign affairs and underscores that, despite his undeniably brief tenure in office, the state of the nation actually did improve on Kennedy's watch. Featuring an expanded bibliographical essay and twenty-two photos from the JFK library, The Presidency of John F. Kennedy remains the definitive appraisal of Camelot's kingdom.