An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963

An Unfinished Life John F Kennedy An Unfinished Life is the first major single volume life of John F Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades

  • Title: An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
  • Author: Robert Dallek
  • ISBN: 9780316172387
  • Page: 324
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An Unfinished Life is the first major, single volume life of John F Kennedy to be written by a historian in nearly four decades.

    • Unlimited [Mystery Book] Ò An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 - by Robert Dallek ✓
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      Posted by:Robert Dallek
      Published :2019-08-05T00:51:42+00:00

    About "Robert Dallek"

    1. Robert Dallek

      Robert Dallek is the author of Nixon and Kissinger , a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and An Unfinished Life John F Kennedy, 1917 1963 , among other books His writing has appeared in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Vanity Fair He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president in 2004 2005 He lives in Washington, D.C.

    214 thoughts on “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963”

    1. I’m too young (though not by much) to remember, real time, JFK’s assassination, but I’ve been all too aware of the whodunit debate that’s raged ever since his tragic and untimely death. That said, I really didn’t know very much about the man until I read this book. It’s a thoughtful and thoroughly researched piece of work that draws on the input of many people who served with Kennedy and tapes of White House conversations, by virtue of a recording system instigated by JFK himself.The [...]


    2. Epilogue'All this mythification - positive and negative - about the Kennedy figure would have interested him less than a fair evaluation of his public career. He would probably have been displeased at the fact that biographers had dug so much of the truth about his private life. And it would not fuel illusions about historians expressing a unanimous opinion about their policies and actions. He understood that History, as the great Dutch historian Pieter Geyl claimed, is an endless discussion. () [...]


    3. Jack Kennedy was the mythological front man for a particularly juicy slice of our history. He called a slick line and wore a world-class haircut. He was Bill Clinton minus pervasive media scrutiny and a few rolls of flab. - James Ellroy, American TabloidMitigating circumstances: This is the ninth among my presidential bio(ish) reads over the past month and change. I’ve been concurrently reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which is an amazing book about an amazing p [...]


    4. This is an extraordinarily clear and detailed biography of the legendary yet all too human American president, John F. Kennedy. Robert Dallek, author of an acclaimed two-volume biography of Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, has found, remarkably, untapped sources to bring additional life and light to Kennedy's story. Chief among these new resources are vast elements of Kennedy's medical records, which indicate both the excruciating pain and personal contortions JFK went through in an effort t [...]


    5. In a New York Times Book Review article on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, Dallek's book was described as the best biography about the president. "Dallek, who spent five years researching and writing, has a deep appreciation of Kennedy's operatic story. The book has rich detail about the president's persistent and serious health problems, which serve to make the life seem genuinely heroic as well as swaddled in troubling cover-ups."


    6. This is a very good biography of JFK, focusing principally on his presidency. Dallek obviously admires Kennedy, but that does not prevent him from being critical of his subject when he believes that the criticism is warranted.Dallek's principal contribution is to document more thoroughly than any previous biographer Kennedy's many medical problems, the treatment he received and the extent to which the President, his family, his doctors and others conspired to conceal those problems from public v [...]


    7. I admit to an obsession with the Kennedy Family. I remember being a kid and looking through my mom's boxes of stuff from her childhood and finding an autographed picture from JFK and Jacqueline from like 1962 or something. I was fascinated. Then, I was enamored and fascinated with the idea that this young and against-type President was shot down in the prime of life. I remember seeing JFK, the Oliver Stone movie, and loving it, and I was convinced that there was a conspiracy. I remember just alw [...]


    8. One must wonder what there is that we don't already know about Kennedy. For me, this was an eye opener because I hadn't realized how ill the man was, not just during his presidency, but for his whole life. From early childhood until his death he was plagued like Job with constant pain and a host of diseases and injuries that it is mind-boggling that he was able to function, much less take the highest office in the country. He was in such bad shape that the Navy wouldn't take him until he had his [...]


    9. I understand that one can debate whether JFK was an effective President, but can't most of us agree that he led one of the most fascinating lives of any 20th century American? Robert Dallek's biography also believes he was an effective President and I have to agree on many issues. Dallek outlines the decisions Kennedy made during his 1000 days along with reasons why. His first challenge - the Bay of Pigs- was set up during Eisenhower, but Kennedy accepted blame for his incorrect decision to exec [...]


    10. bestpresidentialbios/2017When it was published in 2003, Robert Dallek's "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963" was the first full-scale, single-volume biography of JFK in over three decades. Dallek is a presidential historian and former professor of history at Boston University, Columbia University and UCLA. He is the author of nearly two-dozen books including a two-volume series on LBJ and "Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power."Dallek's book benefits enormously from his having been [...]


    11. I have now completed the third biography on my list of US Presidents who have been in office during my lifetime: Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. It appears that to be taken seriously a presidential biography must be a door-stopper no matter how long their lives or how many terms they served. John F Kennedy only lived for 46 years and only held the Presidency for 1000 days but he still got 711 pages of text from Robert Dallek.This reading about presidents' lives is probably the most difficult of [...]


    12. The health problems that John F. Kennedy had were quite incredible, and it is hard to read them without having sympathy and awe for Kennedy's perseverance. Historian Robert Dallek was the first to have access to Kennedy's health records, though Seymour Hersh detailed many of Kennedy's ailments through anonymous sourcing in a book he wrote.Dallek is a good writer and presents Kennedy well. That said, this biography didn't change my own view that JFK is perhaps the most overrated president in U.S. [...]


    13. Took quite a while to read this but it was worth the effort. Very detailed on policies etc and how they were made but little mention of more sensational elements such as JFK's affairs, Jackie Kennedy or the assassination. It is quite enthralling, although quite a commitment to read, in its description of policy on eg: the Berlin Wall, Cuban missile crisis, the Cold War in general, the beginnings of Vietnam and civil rights. Also interesting for its description of JFK's life before he became pres [...]


    14. “All the mythmaking – positive and negative – about Kennedy would not have interested him as much as a fair-minded assessment of his public career.” – Page 703I thought I knew a fair amount about JFK going into this book. Reading this 711 page bio, I can truly say I learned a great deal that I didn’t know about both the man and his presidency. Trying to look at his record objectively, I think there is a strong case to be made that JFK is quite possibly the most overrated president in [...]


    15. (Posted on my blog)As I watch Jimmer and BYU take on Gonzaga in the "third round" of the NCAA tournament, I'm using an iPad from my company's IT department to write this post. It's pretty cool, I guess.I recently finished a very compelling biography of JFK (An Unfinished Life). Being too young to have any experience with his presidency (or life, for that matter), I learned a lot from this book. I know a number of my "conservative" friends would automatically say JFK was a liberal. I suppose he d [...]


    16. I really had to think before I started this book because the nearly 1,000 pages were a tad daunting. But it's a really good read. This is one of the third generation books about John F. Kennedy. Following his assassination, there were countless books that romanticized him and his presidency. Then years later, the highly critical books began to be published. This look at Kennedy by Robert Dallek, a professor of history at Boston University, looks at Kennedy from childhood through his assassinatio [...]


    17. I had to read this entire book for my English dialectical (a journal where you have to take a page of notes on every chapter). Considering that this was around 700 pages and had more than 40 chapters, this was not a fun reading experience for me.Regardless though, the biography itself was rich and extensive. Honestly, though I was a fan of JFK before I read this, but afterwards, not so much.He womanized and cheated so much, and he only got into Congress because of his father's money and influenc [...]


    18. I picked up this book after finishing a biography on LBJ. I was interested in learning more about the "1000 days of Camelot", JFK's family dynast, the womanizing, his politics, the 60's, the cold war, Castro, the assassination, and legacy. I was interested in the dynamic between LBJ and JFK. They couldn't be more different from each other, in temperament, style, friends, governance and outlook. I was just over a year old when Kennedy was assassinated, so I don't personally remember it. But my pa [...]


    19. Hailed as the most comprehensive of all the JFK biographies, this book tried to stay on issue rather than be distracted by Kennedy's family life (the Kennedy dynasty or even his relationship with Jackie). It didn't get caught up in his lasting achievements (peace corps, Green berets, National Institute of Health, etc.), but rather apolitically laid out the challenges he faced growing up Kennedy until his assassination. The in-depth knowledge of Kennedy's health issues, however, show cased JFK's [...]


    20. Fascinating insights into the terrible medical mess that was Kennedy's health. Despite his poor health it truly is amazing how much he was able to accomplish. It is also not without note that people have claimed that he might have survived the motorcade assassination if he were not wearing the back brace which greatly restricted his movement and ability to lower himself after being shot in the throat.


    21. I love a tedious biography and this met all of my requirements. It took me two months to read and I learned a lot. I never knew he was as sick as he was from an early age or the extent of his constant womanizing. I felt Jackie's pain. His father came across as a domineering ass and his mother as cold and distant. RFK was a pit bull. This was a very balanced biography and not a gossip, hatchet job. Very good read.


    22. I wanted to know more about JKF and I thought this was a fair and unbiased account of his life. I always want to categorize someone as "good" or "bad" (he was a good/bad president), but this book is yet another example that most people are both.


    23. I would give this small volume less stars for lack of depth, however this was somewhat the point of the book: to give a very brief overview of only that which is necessary.I'll be interested to read the extended, original version.


    24. I own the physical book, but found the audio available on the Ohio e-book project, so I thought, let's do this. I should have guessed when it was only 10 sections that this was an abridged version. They must have "bridged" this across a pond because the book is a heck of a lot longer.The narration was good, by an actor who I recognize, but didn't know his name. I'm not sure I learned anything new, but it was still a good read.


    25. John F. Kennedy, 34th President of the United States, is the first president of which I have personal memories. I was eleven years old when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas. I am sure every one of my fellow fifth grade classmates recall the shock and sad events of that infamous day. Therefore this was a presidential biography I anticipated reading, and I was not disappointed. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was born into a powerful Irish-Catholic Boston family. His father, Joseph [...]


    26. A fair-minded and authoritatively-written biography that persuasively lays out the case for JFK's importance in U.S. (or should I say world) history.


    27. I really enjoyed this single volume biography of JFK. Over the years myths have grown up around the man, family and legacy and it was great to have an overview of his contribution to global politics. I was a little surprised that there was light touch in some areas, like the Bay of Pigs, which I expected a filler analysis of and there was a great emphasis on his physical debilities. There is no evidence that any of the physical weaknesses or sexual predilections affected his judgement or events [...]


    28. The Kennedy's were the closest America has ever had to royalty, and it is a family filled with tragedy. JFK was pretty amazing in the fact that his presidency was only a thousand days. He had so many hidden health issues and his womanizing was notorious -- I don't believe in the current age of constant tweeting that he would have been able to hide any of it from the masses. Yet with all the underlying issues or baggage he had as our country's leader -- he was the leader at one of the most incred [...]


    29. Honestly, I only made it through 300 pages or solost interest with all the minutia that clogged the pages. How in the "h" did this author find out so much detail? More importantly, what made him think we cared? Perhaps I'll return to finish when I have read EVERYTHING else on my shelf. That'll be about 5 to 6 years.


    30. Dallek's book is a satisfying biography (though its treatment of JFK's assassination is rather uncritical of the explanation arrived at by the US government). He deals forthrightly with Kennedy's strengths (his first-rate mind, his charm, his grit), his failings (his serial philandering and his father's machinations), and with the undecided areas (his rating as a president).


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