A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy

Thomas C. Reeves, Author Free Press $27.95 (510p) ISBN 978-0-02-925965-8
This riveting biography by a University of Wisconsin history professor explores John Kennedy's character, assesses its influence on his presidential decisionmaking and brings into focus the discrepancy between the Camelot image and the man himself. Reeves reveals how indifferent Kennedy was to the moral and legal objections to the Bay of Pigs invasion, the overthrow of the Diem regime in South Vietnam, and plans for the assassination of Fidel Castro. There is a wealth of new material here concerning JFK's often precarious health, his relationship with his wife, his flagrant philandering. Reeves concludes that Kennedy abused his high position for personal self-gratification, that his reckless liaisons with women and mobsters were ``irresponsible, dangerous, and demeaning to the office of chief executive.'' By the author of The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy , this is a solidly researched look at John Kennedy's morals or his lack thereof. History Book Club main selection. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-1-55958-175-2
Hardcover - 978-0-517-11513-8
Paperback - 510 pages - 978-1-55958-196-7
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