Despite the brevity of John F. Kennedy's presidency, its significance endures. From the Cuban Missile Crisis and the creation of the Berlin Wall to the Peace Corps and the civil rights movement, Kennedy's presidency was one of crisis and change. In Debating the Kennedy Presidency, noted scholars James N. Giglio and Stephen G. Rabe examine the successes and failures of Kennedy's foreign and domestic policies. Rabe focuses on the administration's foreign relations and argues that JFK was a relentless Cold Warrior who perpetuated the Cold War more than he resolved it. Conversely, Giglio sympathetically surveys domestic policies and defends Kennedy's record by emphasizing the constraints under which the president had to operate. The differing viewpoints of the two authors, as well as the supplementary documents, provide an ideal introduction allowing readers to examine the issues and draw their own conclusions about America's 35th president.
James N. Giglio is Distinguished Professor of History at Southwest Missouri State University. Stephen G. Rabe is professor of history at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 John F. Kennedy and the World Part 3 Documents: Chapter 4 Preamble to National Security Council Memorandum No. 68 (NSC 68) Chapter 5 President Kennedy and Chairman Khruschev Debate the Fate of Berlin at the Vienna Summitt Chapter 6 President Kennedy Urges Citizens to Prepare for Nuclear War Chapter 7 President Kennedy Explains His Decision Not to Launch an Air Strike Against Cuba Chapter 8 Higher Authority (President Kennedy) Approves a Sabotage Program against Cuba Chapter 9 President Kennedy Expresses Reservations about Increased U.S. Military Involvement in South Vietnam Chapter 10 President Kennedy Comments on South Vietman and the "Domino Theory" Chapter 11 President Kennedy's Undelivered Remarks at the Trade Mart in Dallas Part 12 John F. Kennedy and the Nation Part 13 Documents: Chapter 14 Kennedy Inaugural Address. Chapter 15 Excerpt from Commencement Address at Yale University. Chapter 16 Excerpt from Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Effort Chapter 17 Excerpt from Remarks at Meeting with the Headquarters of Peace Corps Chapter 18 Excerpt from Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights Chapter 19 Martin Luther King Jr.: "It's a Difficult Thing to Teach a President" Chapter 20 Survey on the American Presidency Chapter 21 Selected Readings