Review: Revisiting JFK in the news
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 one more.
BY MICHAEL NELSON
Special to The Post and Courier
THE KENNEDY YEARS: From the Pages of The New York Times. Edited by Richard Reeves. Abrams. 400 pages. $40.
The New York Times has collected nearly 180 articles, mostly from John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign through the1963 assassination, in a handsomely designed book "The Kennedy Years: From the Pages of The New York Times."
Edited by Richard Reeves, author of the 1993 book "President Kennedy: Profile of Power," this new volume also includes "looking back" essays by Robert Dallek, Terry Golway, and historians and journalists.
There is a prologue of Kennedy's early years by Thomas Maier, which includes an AP article about JFK's PT-109 experience during World War II.
Part 1 covers the 1960 presidential race and has articles on the primaries, controversies over JFK's Catholicism, debates with Nixon and other topics.
Part 2 discusses 1961 - the inauguration, Bay of Pigs debacle, first manned space flight, attacks on the Freedom Riders, and the now mostly forgotten 16-hour standoff in Berlin between American and Soviet tanks.
Part 3 covers 1962, beginning with an article on the "flurry of cultural activities" that help define the Kennedy White House.
Also that year, Kennedy's confronted U.S. Steel over steel prices; John Glenn orbited the Earth; James Meredith intigrated the University of Mississippi; and, most dramatically, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of catastrophe.
Part 4 covers 1963, with civil rights front and center. Vietnam also was in the news, along with Kennedy's superb commencement address at American University, his triumphant trip to Berlin, and his visit to Ireland, the land of his ancestry.
The final section covers the killing of Kennedy in Dallas and his funeral in Washington, D.C. An epilogue reports on President Johnson's formation of the Warren Commission.
Generously illustrated with photographs, the articles give a good overview of the era told in "real time."
Reviewer Michael Nelson is a writer and editor in Charleston.