Review of “Kennedy” by Theodore C. Sorensen

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Theodore Sorensen’s “Kennedy” was published in 1965, little more than a year after JFK’s assassination. Sorensen served as chief legislative aide to Senator Kennedy and as Special Counsel, adviser and speechwriter to President Kennedy. He also reportedly wrote or edited much of JFK’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Profiles in Courage.” Sorensen died in 2010 at the age of 82.

Sorensen’s 758-page biography of Kennedy is nontraditional in many ways: by virtue of its extraordinary proximity to both its subject and the times, for its strictly thematic coverage and for its commitment to revealing the inner workings of a presidency at the expense of broader context and character development.

The unique access Sorensen provides readers is undoubtedly the book’s best attribute…as well as its most significant shortcoming. During most of its twenty-five chapters, the reader is treated to a fascinating “fly on the wall” account of the Kennedy presidency:…

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