PROFILES IN COURAGE

John F. Kennedy

I believe John F. Kennedy was a very brave man.  He was warned not to go to Dallas, Texas, on this date fifty years ago, but he went anyway. He went, I believe, not because out of blind audacity or false bravado, but because he refused to be intimidated or cower in fear.  His heroic acts during World War II showed him to be a very brave man, and he was until the day he died.

Disagree as any of us may with his politics, his bravery was something to be admired.  So were his gifts as a communicator and writer, and as a public speaker. He needed no teleprompter when he stood in front of throngs of people and spoke, and he wrote many if not most of his own speeches.  He was a very articulate and educated man.  This is no greater shown than in his Pulitzer Prize winning book “Profiles in Courage.”  Here below my signature is a write-up of the book you’ll find online and in many places as it was when the book was published.  Below this I have included excerpt from Profiles in Courage.  And whoever visits my blog, I hope you read on and become even induced to grab a copy of Kennedy’s masterpiece tome.  It is a brave and inspirational read.

Patrick The Poet

“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 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.”

EXCERPT FROM PROFILES IN COURAGE:

Today the challenge of political courage looms larger than ever before. For our everyday life is becoming so saturated with the tremendous power of mass communications that any unpopular or unorthodox course arouses a storm of protests such as John Quincy Adams – under attack in 1807 – could never have envisioned. Our political life is becoming so expensive, so mechanized and so dominated by professional politicians and public relations men that the idealist who dreams of independent statesmanship is rudely awakened by the necessities of election and accomplishment. . . .

And thus, in the days ahead, only the very courageous will be able to take the hard and unpopular decisions necessary for our survival in the struggle with a powerful enemy – an enemy with leaders who need give little thought to the popularity of their course, who need pay little tribute to the public opinion they themselves manipulate, and who may force, without fear of retaliation at the polls, their citizens to sacrifice present laughter for future glory.

 

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