Jay David presents this as ""the best that has thus far been written about and by the man who was our thirty-fifth president""; the publishers term it ""the first definitive selection of material from every obtainable source."" Editorially we wince at the conjunction of ""definitive"" and ""selection""--let's just say that Mr. David has drawn from all the best known writings for a popular anthology of Kennedyana. The dignity of the effort is marred by the organization; wisps of Kennedy Wit (Bill Adler) are interjected indiscriminately between often serious-to-tragic texts, and the whole lacks any obvious cohesiveness or cumulative chronological power. Nevertheless, it reads along with the constant interest and involvement Kennedy always induced. Here is Kennedy's Inaugural Address, his radio address to the people on Nuclear Testing and Disarmament and the Test Ban Treaty, his Special Message to the Congress on Civil Rights, speeches re arts and letters and sports. Here are Schlesinger and Sorensen and Salinger, alongside Evelyn Lincoln and Maude Shaw and Jim Bishop on the White House years, Tazewell Shepard, Jr. and Robert J. Donovan (with a swatch of PT 109) on the years before. The assassination, except in memoriam (Wicker, the UN, White, The Guardian--""A Tragedy for the World"") is not pursued. A memento, not a monument.