Thursday, August 10, 2017

JFK Presidency By The Book

I recently visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library in Boston. I had visited the presidential library of Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson and FDR, but this was special because Kennedy represents the 1960s -- the revolution -- where race, sex, and drugs all converged to produce significant changes in civil rights, social activism, and culture.  It was the Cold War and the Vietnam War.  It was the race to space and it was a new era for all.

Of course, history tells us that things went off course when an assassin stole Camelot and great optimism and potential, when, the president was shot and the Kennedy vision was killed with him.

The museum offers many interesting factoids and nostalgic items for consumption, but I was most impressed with the role books play in the telling of his story.  

For instance, it displays Profiles in Courage, a book the young Senator Kennedy wrote and won a Pulitzer Prize for, several years before ascending to the White House.  He’s the only president to win such an award.  Trump certainly will not break into that world, though he has put his name on a number of best-sellers.

Another place where books took up an important place was in a display that said:  “When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”  It seems Kennedy knew how the world really is, but held out hope that writers can lead a change.

Of course the museum highlighted the Cuban Missile Crisis but it didn’t mention Vietnam.  It showed Jackie O in a good light but never mentioned Marilyn Monroe.  These type of museums don’t so much as get at a truth but they do a good job of highlighting the life and presidency of the few people who have held the most powerful job in the world the past 2 ½ centuries.

Much of the Kennedy career accomplishments can be found in books.  The gift shop sold many books about him, politics, Ted Kennedy and the White House.  I even bought one.  It’s nice to see books prominently displayed for sale in such a prestigious place.

Kennedy was a charismatic communicator. He was only 43 when he was elected.  His wife was just 31 on Election Day. If only he could’ve been around longer and not only accomplished more things, but to have been around to pen more books.  Someone should write a fictional Kennedy’s autobiography – what would he say if he lived longer and were even alive today?    He would have been 100 years old had he survived that gun shot.

Many presidents write books.  Presidential candidates now pen books so they can help promote their candidacy.  Many also write memoirs and policy books once they leave office.  Books and presidents are an important combination that help promote both.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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