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Publisher's Summary

The John F. Kennedy presidency has an indelible hold on our imaginations. Even more than half a century later, we remain captivated by the charismatic young leader who promised us the moon, who remained steadfast in the face of nuclear catastrophe, who told us to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”—and whose life was cut short by shocking assassination.

Although so much ink has been spilled about JFK, recent years have seen the public release of documents and interviews, shedding new light on a man who perhaps never fully revealed himself to anyone: the courageous soldier, the political neophyte, the stylish leader, the casual playboy. Who was JFK? And what do we know about his presidency?

Reconsidering JFK is your chance to transport yourself back to a more innocent time in America, to a presidency mythologized as “Camelot.” In these 12 in-depth lectures, Professor Michael Shelden of Indiana State University brings you the latest research and first-hand accounts to portray a fresh angle on a multi-faceted, always fascinating American president.

Here, consider the story through the eyes of people who experienced it. For instance, it is difficult to reflect on Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas without thinking about Lee Harvey Oswald and conspiracy theories of the grassy knoll. But when you look at that fateful day through the eyes of those who lived it, you will discover that political tensions in Texas were the most dominant concern. Professor Shelden shows you grumpy Lyndon Johnson, forced to go on a reconciliation tour, bickering with colleagues until the shots were fired.

Historians traffic in drama—the turning points that change the world forever. JFK’s presidency certainly was a turning point, but what remains so compelling is the human drama behind events such as the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis. Reconsidering JFK is a story of the human drama—and the heart of the intriguing leader who changed the world. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 The Great Courses (P)2022 The Teaching Company, LLC

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Learned New Things

I liked this course very much. It gave a great overview of the Kennedy presidency and political career leading up to it. I learned a lot of things I did not know about this era and the Kennedy presidency. Michael Shelden has a very good speaking voice and the sections were very well paced. This course was a balanced view of Kennedy and was well worth the time spent listening. Highly recommended.