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Jack Kennedy: Elusive Heroby Chris Matthews
Synopses & Reviews
“What was he like?”
Jack Kennedy said the reason people read biography is to answer that basic question. What was he like, this man whose own wife called him “that elusive, unforgettable man”? In this New York Times bestselling biography, Chris Matthews answers that question with the verve of a novelist. We see this most beloved president in the company of friends. We see and feel him close-up, having fun and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his life from privileged, rebellious youth to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in war and selfless rescue of his PT boat crew. We watch JFK as a young politician learning to play hardball and watch him grow into the leader who averts a nuclear war. Matthews's extraordinary biography is based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, oral histories by top political aide Kenneth O'Donnell and others, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy's first interview after Dallas. As Matthews writes: “I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father's son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.”
“It's hard for a book to be loving, affectionate and honest, but Chris Matthews has done it. He captures JFK’s virtues and flaws, his appreciation of heroism, his essential independence, his coolness at the core. Full of drama, infused with the joy of politics and battle, Jack Kennedy is an insightful piece of work and a great time!” Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal
"In his engaging new biography...Matthews, who has a deep knowledge of American political history, draws on conversations with numerous people...[offering] a valuable reminder of Kennedy’s skill at uniting toughness with inspirational leadership." The New York Times
"Matthews stirring biography reveals Kennedy as a 'fighting prince never free from pain, never far from trouble, and never accepting the world he found.'" Publishers Weekly
"Matthews...blends tributes and chastisement in this highly personal account of John F. Kennedy's career." Kirkus
"If history at its best is about telling stories that bring the past to life, then Chris Matthews is a master storyteller, for this fascinating portrait brings Jack Kennedy more vividly to life than any recent work." Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
The critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling new biography of John F. Kennedy, by Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball.
Chris Matthews, who has been following and studying the Kennedys most of his life, has interviewed President Kennedy's closest confidants — family, friends, and those who served with him — to create a moving portrait of a man many loved but few really understood. Matthews evokes JFK’s days at prep school, his heroism during World War II, his political career, and, always, his devotion to the Kennedy family.
Jack Kennedy took surprising risks, struggled with chronic illness, and repeatedly confronted “the thin membrane between life and death.” As Matthews describes it, Jack Kennedy was a rebel, an adventurer, and a great enjoyer of life precisely because he understood its fragility.
By getting closer to the man than any book before has, Chris Matthews’s Jack Kennedy will be a touchstone for those who wish to remember his heroism and his inspiration now and for years to come.
About the Author
Chris Matthews is anchor of MSNBC's Hardball as well as the NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show. He is an author of American; Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think; and Kennedy and Nixon.
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