JFK: Incomparable Grace
Nearly 60 years after his death, John F. Kennedy still holds an outsize place in the American imagination. Baby Boomers certainly remember his dazzling presence as president, but his brief time in office was marked by more than just style and elegance. His presidency is a story of a fledgling leader forced to meet severe challenges, and to rise above his early missteps to lead his nation into a new and more hopeful era.
Kennedy entered office inexperienced but alluring, his reputation more given by an enamored public than earned through achievement. Presidential historian Mark Updegrove details the setbacks of JFK’s first months: the botched Bay of Pigs invasion, his disastrous summit with Soviet Premier Khrushchev, and his mismanaged approach to the Civil Rights Movement. But soon the young president proved that behind the glamour was a leader of uncommon fortitude and vision. A humbled Kennedy conceded his mistakes and—important for our times—drew lessons from his failures that he used to right wrongs and move forward, radiating greater possibility as he coolly faced a steady stream of crises before his tragic end.
Join us as Updegrove reexamines the dramatic, consequential White House years of a flawed but gifted leader, whose brief but transformative tenure has too often been obscured by the Camelot myth that engulfed JFK after his assassination.
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This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.
Photo by Jay Godwin.
The Commonwealth Club of California
President and CEO, Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation; Presidential Historian, ABC News; Author, Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency
In Conversation with Dan Ashley
Co Anchor, ABC 7 News; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors; Twitter @DanAshleyABC7