A TWILIGHT STRUGGLE by Barbara Harrison


The Life of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Age Range: 11 & up
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 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 gifted, 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. (Biography. 11+)

Pub Date: May 15th, 1992
ISBN: 0-688-08830-9
Page count: 159pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1992


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