John F. Kennedy

by Robert Dallek

Robert Dallek's masterful John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life was a number one national bestseller, and it remains the most widely read one-volume biography of the 35th President. Now, in this marvelous short biography of John F. Kennedy, Dallek achieves a miracle of compression, capturing in a small space the essence of his renowned full-length masterpiece.Here readers will find the fascinating insights and groundbreaking revelations found in An Unfinished Life. The heart of the book focuses on Kennedy's political career, especially the presidency. The book sheds light on key foreign affairs issues such as the Bay of Pigs debacle, Khrushchev's misguided bullying of Kennedy in Vienna, the Cuban Missile crisis, the nuclear test ban, the race for space, and the initial dealings with Southeast Asia, especially Laos. It also highlights the difficulties Kennedy faced getting a domestic agenda passed, from a tax cut to spur the economy, to federal aid to education, Medicare, and civil rights. Dallek reveals the thinking behind Robert Kennedy's appointment as Attorney General and convincingly argues that Kennedy would never have expanded the war in Vietnam the way that Lyndon Johnson did. The book also addresses questions about Kennedy's assassination and concludes with his presidential legacy and why he remains so popular despite serving only a thousand days in office.Based upon the definitive biography, John F. Kennedy offers readers a concise, authoritative, and highly readable life of one of our best-loved presidents.Acclaim for John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life:"One of the most engrossing biographies I have ever read.... Nothing less than a masterpiece."--David Herbert Donald, author of Lincoln"It's hard to believe that someone could find anything new to say about John F. Kennedy, but Dallek succeeds in this riveting and well-documented biography."--The New Yorker"An intimate portrait indeed...unexpected and important.... This is nothing if not a profile in courage."--New York Times Book Review

  • Oxford University Press; January 2011
  • ISBN: 9780199813414
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: John F. Kennedy
  • Author: Robert Dallek
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"Dallek has met the challenge of extreme compression. He has produced an excellent starting point for anyone seeking a brief introduction to a president who, if not quite the towering figure of the popular imagination, remains far more important than his truncated term might suggest." --The Historian
"In this riveting tour de force, Boston University history professor Dallek Ldelivers what will most assuredly become the benchmark JFK biography for this generation. A master of the art of narrative history, Dallek is also the first biographer since Doris Kearns Goodwin to be granted unrestricted access to key Kennedy family papers (most importantly, the Joseph and Rose Kennedy Papers) in the JFK Library. This is a substantial and significant trove to which Dallek brings a refreshingly critical eye."--Publishers Weekly
"Sets the historical record straight...pitch-perfect prose...hands-down the best biography of JFK...a truly remarkable achievement."-- Douglas Brinkley, author of The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey Beyond the White House
"A remarkable cradle-to-grave account of JFK-the best ever penned."--Edward J. Renehan Jr., Providence Journal
"Dallek is a master of the biographical craft."--Boston Globe

About The Author

Robert Dallek is the author of ten books, including his two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, Lone Star Rising and Flawed Giant (both OUP), and Nixon and Kissinger. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and other publications.