Editor’s Note: On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, The Post and Courier’s book page is featuring short reviews of 16 new books about JFK. Today, we continue with two more.
BY MICHAEL NELSON
Special to The Post and Courier
THE POWER OF CITIZENSHIP: Why John F. Kennedy Matters to a New Generation. By Scott D. Reich. BenBella Books. 304 pages. $24.95.
Scott D. Reich, born about 20 years after John F. Kennedy’s presidency, has written a book that asserts the JFK’s relevance today.
Inspired as a 15-year-old by Kennedy’s inaugural statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” “The Power of Citizenship” describes JFK’s call to public service and belief that there is no greater endeavor in life than to contribute positively to society, a creed Kennedy made evident when he created the Peace Corps, the NASA space program, and more.
“Kennedy’s concept of service goes deeper,” Reich writes. “Service in the New Frontier was more than a series of actions that in aggregate would change the nation. Service became an attitude.”
What is unique in this book is the way the author projects forward the spirit of service that JFK inspired in so many a generation ago. Beginning with a chapter entitled “Embracing Our Citizenship,” the author sets out a contemporary call to service within the framework of JFK’s vision of public service.
THE DAY KENNEDY DIED: Fifty Years Later Life Remembers the Man and the Moment. By the Editors of LIFE. LIFE Books. 192 pages. $50.
The editors of Life magazine have created a commemorative book on the coverage of the JFK assassination. This beautifully designed, large-format book includes a pull-out replica of the complete issue of Life magazine from Nov. 29, 1963, covering the assassination and includes a prologue by acclaimed historian David McCullough.
Divided into sections — JFK’s early days, his presidency, Dallas, Oswald, the funeral and the Kennedy legacy — the book is resplendent with many well-known photographs from the Life archives by such photographers as Cecil Stoughton, Mark Shaw, Paul Schutzer, Stanley Tretick and Jacques Lowe.
There is a full-color foldout with all 486 frames of the Zapruder film of the assassination, as well as numerous short essays by people answering the question, “Where were you when you heard?” Among those are essays by former President Jimmy Carter, Sergei Khrushchev, Rep. John Lewis, writers Tom Wolfe and Maya Angelou, actors Dick Van Dyke and Alec Baldwin, and singers Tony Bennett and Placido Domingo.
Theodore White’s interview with Jacqueline Kennedy that launched the legend of Camelot also is included.