The directors of research for the TV documentary JFK: In His Own Words (1988) draw on the extensive available resources for a carefully balanced portrait. Beginning with JFK's extraordinary background--the politician grandfather, the father who demanded fierce competition as well as success--the authors depict a gilled, deeply complex man molded by his family's standards and by his own resistance to them; shaped as much by tragedy, poor health, and pain as by wealth and power. He's presented as a charismatic politician of genuine eloquence who pursued his sincere ideals with pragmatic zeal; a man of his time, not always wise, who learned from his mistakes (forthrightly described here)--a man growing in breadth and wisdom and showing every promise of continuing to do so. Without commenting on it explicitly, the authors make the tragedy of his loss compellingly clear. A handsome book, well illustrated with photos, and with a narrative remarkable for its clarity and grace. Important facts are illuminated with a wealth of telling details and quotes (inexplicably, and most annoyingly, only about half are attributed). Chapter epigraphs from Frost's ""Birches"" poignantly underline the theme of JFK's life as personal struggle and historical turning point. An intelligent, authoritative, and beautifully crafted biography of a fascinating figure. Selected bibliography; comprehensive ten-page chronology; source notes; index.