Kennedy Profiles In Courage Essay

The letter-writing continued even after Kennedy had been elected to the presidency.This prompted Kennedy to turn to George Plimpton, Ames' grandson and a classmate of Robert F.Kennedy's handwritten notes, which Senator Kennedy showed to reporters to prove his authorship, are now in the Kennedy Library, but are mostly preliminary notes about John Quincy Adams, a particular interest of Kennedy's, and are not a readable draft of the chapter on Adams.

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According to "The Straight Dope", Herbert Parmet later analyzed the text of Profiles in Courage and wrote in his book Jack: The Struggles of John F.

Kennedy (1980) that although Kennedy did oversee the production and provided for the direction and message of the book, it was clearly Sorensen who provided most of the work that went into the end product.

Profiles was widely celebrated and became a best seller. In 19, he was elected a senator from Massachusetts, and served in the Senate until resigning after he was elected president in 1960.

It was a passage from Herbert Agar's book The Price of Union about an act of courage by an earlier senator from Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, that gave Kennedy the idea of writing about senatorial courage.

Questions have been raised about how much of the book was truly written by Kennedy and how much by his research assistants.

On December 7, 1957, journalist Drew Pearson appeared as a guest on The Mike Wallace Interview and made the following claim live on air: "John F.Kennedy is the only man in history that I know who won a Pulitzer Prize for a book that was ghostwritten for him." Wallace replied: "You know for a fact, Drew, that the book Profiles in Courage was written for Senator Kennedy ... " Pearson responded that he did and that Kennedy speechwriter Ted Sorensen wrote the book. You know, there's a little wisecrack around the Senate about Jack ...Wallace responded: "And Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for it? some of his colleagues say, 'Jack, I wish you had a little less profile and more courage.'" Soon Clifford and Robert Kennedy showed up at ABC and told executives that the Kennedys would sue unless the network issued a full retraction and apology.Kennedy also praised Lucius Lamar, who, while working in the public eye towards reconciliation, privately was an instigator, according to the claim of author Lemann, of growing racial agitation.In the profile of Lamar, Kennedy had also included a single paragraph condemning Adelbert Ames, the Maine-born governor of Mississippi from 1873 to 1876, as an opportunistic Carpetbagger whose administration was "sustained and nourished by Federal bayonets." Ames' daughter, Blanche Ames Ames, was outraged, and regularly wrote to Kennedy for years afterward in protest, demanding a retraction of the "defamatory insinuations" and accused him of pandering to Southern readers.Mike Wallace and Drew Pearson insisted that the story was true and refused to back off.Nevertheless, ABC made the retraction and apology, which made Wallace furious.In addition to Kennedy’s speechwriter Sorensen, Jacqueline Kennedy recruited her history instructor from Georgetown University, Jules Davids, to work on the project.Davids told a Kennedy biographer that he and Sorensen had researched and written drafts of most of the book.Sorensen also wrote: "While in Washington, I received from Florida almost daily instructions and requests by letter and telephone – books to send, memoranda to draft, sources to check, materials to assemble, and Dictaphone drafts or revisions of early chapters." (Sorensen, p.146) Sorensen wrote that Kennedy "worked particularly hard and long on the first and last chapters, setting the tone and philosophy of the book".


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