November 21, 2013 |
Twenty-five years ago, I asked Charles Bartlett, a syndicated columnist, to tell me about his old and close friend, John F. Kennedy. Bartlett's answer: "No one ever knew John Kennedy, not all of him. " Now, 50 years after Kennedy's assassination, that answer still seems relevant. Kennedy was a compartmentalized man with much to hide, comfortable with secrets and lies. He organized his White House as a wagon wheel, with himself as what he called "the vital center," the hub. All of his relations along the spokes were bilateral.
October 31, 2013 |
Highlights of John F. Kennedy's presidency, the events surrounding his assassination in 1963, and how the reporter who would become "the most trusted man in America" - CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite - broke the devastating news of JFK's death are all grippingly detailed in the documentary "One PM Central Standard Time. " One of many films and TV specials timed to coincide with this month's 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death, this deftly assembled piece, from producer-director Alastair Layzell, builds a solid head of steam as it goes, effectively recapturing the shock and urgency of one of our nation's darkest days.
October 24, 2013 |
As a teenager in the 1970s, I learned about the paranoid style of American politics from the Kennedy assassination. Between seventh grade, when I discovered the Warren Commission report, and my junior year in high school, when I wrote a term paper "proving" that there had been three gunmen in Dealey Plaza, I was a kid obsessed. I read every book about the assassination I could get my hands on; I bought a bootleg Super 8 copy of the Zapruder film from the classifieds in Argosy magazine.
July 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama on Wednesday announced he would nominate Caroline Kennedy, a close friend and key political ally, as the next U.S. ambassador to Japan. The daughter of President Kennedy, she is president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She has written and edited a series of books, most of them related to the Kennedy family and its legacy, but has never held a government post. The ambassadorship is a major diplomatic assignment, and her appointment comes at an important moment.
November 25, 2012 |
Caroline Kennedy, the only living child of JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy, wrote the foreword to "Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy. " The new book consists of a curated collection of taped conversations in the holdings of the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, the last of which was released this year. Most people associate secret tapes with Nixon. I wasn't aware that Kennedy had them too. Do you know whether he was the first president to do that? I don't think so. There's an interesting entry in the book where A. Philip Randolph is making a pitch on civil rights and it turns out that 20 years before he made a similar one to Roosevelt, so I think it started with President Roosevelt.
May 6, 2012 |
The Passage of Power The Years of Lyndon Johnson Robert Caro Alfred A. Knopf: 736 pp., $35 "The Passage of Power," the fourth volume in Robert Caro's epic biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, encompasses the period of LBJ's deepest humiliation and his greatest accomplishment. It is a searing account of ambition derailed by personal demons in Johnson's unsuccessful bid for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. It is a painful depiction of "greatness comically humbled" when Johnson gave up his unbridled authority as Senate majority leader to becomeJohn F. Kennedy's disdained vice president.