Profiles in Courage
"This is a book about that most admirable of human virtues-- courage. 'Grace under pressure,' Ernest Hemingway defined it. And these are the stories of the pressures experienced by eight United States Senators and the grace with which they endured them."
-- John F. Kennedy
During 1954-1955, John F. Kennedy, then a U.S. Senator, chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1957, Profiles in Courage -- now reissued in this handsome hardcover edition, featuring a new introduction by Caroline Kennedy, as well as Robert Kennedy's foreword written for the memorial edition of the volume in 1964 -- resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. It is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword, "not just stories of the past but a hook of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us."
About the Author
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) graduated from Harvard with honors in 1940 and served as a P. T. Boat Commander in the South Pacific during World War II. He was decorated twice by the Navy for the serious injuries he suffered when his boat was rammed in two while attacking a Japanese destroyer in the Solomons, and for "his courage, endurance and excellent leadership" in towing injured members of his crew to safety.
A writer and newspaperman, Kennedy in 1940 wrote Why England Slept, a best-selling analysis of England's unpreparedness for war, termed by the New York Times "a notable textbook for our times."
The son of Joseph P. Kennedy, former Ambassador to Great Britain, and the grandson of Boston's one-time Mayor and Congressman John F. Fitzgerald, Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946 at the age of twenty-nine, and re-elected in 1948 and 1950. In 1952 he became the third Democrat ever elected to the Senate from Massachusetts, receiving the largest vote ever polled by a Senator in the history of the state. He was President of the United States from 1961 to 1963. He was the youngest man ever elected to the Oval Office and the first Roman Catholic President.
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