Book picks similar to
John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and the Politics of Ethnic Incorporation and Avoidance by Robert C. Smith
The Faith of Barack Obama
Stephen Mansfield - 2008
America faces looming inflation, climate change, a national credit crisis, war in the Middle East, threats to security and liberty at home, and skyrocketing oil and gas prices. With all of these threats to our security, prosperity and freedom on the horizon, it has never been more important to choose the right leader for America."If a man's faith is sincere, it is the most important thing about him, and it is impossible to understand who he is and how he will lead without first understanding the religious vision that informs his life," writes Mansfield.Mansfield holds back nothing to share that vision and explain its roots, including: Obama's upbringing in a non-Christian homethe influence on his life from his agnostic mother and Muslim fatherhis remarkable turn to Christianity after working in the inner cities of Chicagohis years at the controversial Trinity United Church of Christhis association to the radical teachings of Rev. Jeremiah Wrightthe source of Obama's relentless optimism and hope for AmericaEvery American voter concerned to know more about Obama's beliefs, both religious and political, and how the two intertwine should read this book, as should every thinking person who continues to shape and evolve his or her religious beliefs. Barack Obama, according to Mansfield, is "raising the banner of what he hopes will be the faith-based politics of a new generation . . . and he will carry that banner to whatever heights of power his God and the American people allow."
The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America
Michael Eric Dyson - 2016
How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes? Dyson explores whether Obama’s use of his own biracialism as a radiant symbol has been driven by the president’s desire to avoid a painful moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage. President Obama’s own voice—from an Oval Office interview granted to Dyson for this book—along with those of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Maxine Waters, among others, add unique depth to this profound tour of the nation’s first black presidency.
Humanity: How Jimmy Carter Lost an Election and Transformed the Post-Presidency (Kindle Single)
Jordan Michael Smith - 2016
Carter's unpopularity helped Republicans win seats in the House and gain control over the Senate for the first time in over 20 years. The Reagan Era had begun, ushering in a generation of conservative power. Democrats blamed Carter for this catastrophe and spent the next decade pretending he had never existed. Republicans cheered his demise and trotted out his name to scare voters for years to come. Carter and his wife Rosalynn returned to their farm in the small town of Plains, Georgia. They were humiliated, widely unpopular, and even in financial debt. 35 years later, Carter has become the most celebrated post-president in American history. He has won the Nobel Peace Prize, written bestselling books, and become lauded across the world for his efforts on behalf of peace and social justice. Ex-presidents now adopt the Carter model of leveraging their eminent status to benefit humanity. By pursuing diplomatic missions, leading missions to end poverty and working to eradicate disease around the world, Carter has transformed the idea of what a president can accomplish after leaving the White House.This is the story of how Jimmy Carter lost the biggest political prize on earth--but managed to win back something much greater. Jordan Michael Smith is a contributing writer at Salon and the Christian Science Monitor. His writing has appeared in print or online for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Slate, BBC, and many other publications. Born in Toronto, he holds a Master's of Arts in Political Science from Carleton University. He lives in New York City. www.jordanmichaelsmith.typepad.com.Cover design by Adil Dara.
The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House
Ben Rhodes - 2018
One is Barack Obama. The other is Ben Rhodes.The World As It Is tells the full story of what it means to work alongside a radical leader; of how idealism can confront reality and survive; of how the White House really functions; and of what it is to have a partnership, and ultimately a friendship, with a historic president.A young writer and Washington outsider, Ben Rhodes was plucked from obscurity aged 29. Chosen for his original perspective and gift with language, his role was to help shape the nation’s hopes and sense of itself. For nearly ten years, Rhodes was at the centre of the Obama Administration – first as a speechwriter, then a policymaker, and finally a multi-purpose aide and close collaborator.Rhodes puts us in the room at the most tense and poignant moments in recent history: starting every morning with Obama in the Daily Briefing; waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room; reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran; leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government; confronting the resurgence of nationalism that led to the election of Donald Trump.This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama’s presidency. It is an essential record of the last decade. But it also shows us what it means to hold the pen, and to write the words that change our world.
Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy - 2011
Kennedy's centennial, celebrate the life and legacy of the 35th President of the United States. In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven historic interviews about her life with John F. Kennedy. Now, for the first time, they can be read in this deluxe, illustrated eBook.Shortly after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, with a nation deep in mourning and the world looking on in stunned disbelief, Jacqueline Kennedy found the strength to set aside her own personal grief for the sake of posterity and begin the task of documenting and preserving her husband's legacy. In January of 1964, she and Robert F. Kennedy approved a planned oral-history project that would capture their first-hand accounts of the late President as well as the recollections of those closest to him throughout his extraordinary political career. For the rest of her life, the famously private Jacqueline Kennedy steadfastly refused to discuss her memories of those years, but beginning that March, she fulfilled her obligation to future generations of Americans by sitting down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and recording an astonishingly detailed and unvarnished account of her experiences and impressions as the wife and confidante of John F. Kennedy. The tapes of those sessions were then sealed and later deposited in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum upon its completion, in accordance with Mrs. Kennedy's wishes.The resulting eight and a half hours of material comprises a unique and compelling record of a tumultuous era, providing fresh insights on the many significant people and events that shaped JFK's presidency but also shedding new light on the man behind the momentous decisions. Here are JFK's unscripted opinions on a host of revealing subjects, including his thoughts and feelings about his brothers Robert and Ted, and his take on world leaders past and present, giving us perhaps the most informed, genuine, and immediate portrait of John Fitzgerald Kennedy we shall ever have. Mrs. Kennedy's urbane perspective, her candor, and her flashes of wit also give us our clearest glimpse into the active mind of a remarkable First Lady.In conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's Inauguration, Caroline Kennedy and the Kennedy family are now releasing these beautifully restored recordings on CDs with accompanying transcripts. Introduced and annotated by renowned presidential historian Michael Beschloss, these interviews will add an exciting new dimension to our understanding and appreciation of President Kennedy and his time and make the past come alive through the words and voice of an eloquent eyewitness to history.
The Loyalist: The LIfe and Times of Andrew Johnson
Jeffrey K. Smith - 2012
Lincoln became an instant martyr, immortalized as the "The Great Emancipator." After Lincoln's assassination, the commonest of men tried to fill the gigantic void. Andrew Johnson, a self-educated tailor from Tennessee, became the 17th President of the United States, and the first to enter office after the murder of his predecessor. Rising above an impoverished childhood, Johnson was truly a self-made man, learning a useful trade and developing his own successful business. At the same time, he rapidly ascended the poltical ladder--Alderman, Mayor, State Legislator, Congressman, Governor of Tennessee, United States Senator, Military Governor of Union-occupied Tennessee, Vice-President, and President of the United States. As the only lawmaker from the South to remain in Congress after the outbreak of the Civil War, Andrew Johnson was the ultimate "Loyalist." In recognition for his dedication to the Union, Johnson was nominated as Abraham Lincoln's running mate in the 1864 presidential election. Barely a month into his vice-presidency, Johnson was thrust on the center stage of America politics. After Lincoln was murdered, the tailor from Tennessee ascended into the unenviable position of succeeding a legend. Johnson's obstinancy and rigid interpretaion of the Constitution soon placed him at odds with the Republican congression leadership and the national press. The bitter chasm widened as the Johnson presidency lurched forward, and ultimately led to his being the first President in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. By a single vote, Johnson avoided conviction by the Senate, and forfeiture of of office. After narrowly surving this constitutional crisis, Johnson's historical legacy was irrevocably damaged, and his hopes for an elected term as President were dashed. Returning to Tennessee after his presidency, Johnson was determined to return to political office. In remarkable fashion, he was elected to the United States Senate, marking the first and only time that a former President has returned to serve in that legislative body. Ambitous, lacking humility, and largely humorless, Johnson was unable to tolerate criticism. He angrily attacked his foes, once likening himself to Christ on the Crucifix. His combative personality and intemperate remarks readily allowed his enemies to portray him as vindictive and unstable. "The Loyalist: The Life and Times of Andrew Johnson" is a concise biography of the 17th President of the United States, focusing upon the tumultuous years surrounding the American Civil War. Sustained by courage and ambition, Johnson was inevitably doomed by petulance, leading to a remarkable rise, dramatic fall, and partial vindication.
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
Robert Dallek - 2004
Robert Dallek succeeds as no other biographer has done in striking a critical balance -- never shying away from JFK's weaknesses, brilliantly exploring his strengths -- as he offers up a vivid portrait of a bold, brave, complex, heroic, human Kennedy.
Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership
Steven Levingston - 2019
The two men, their characters and styles sharply contrasting, formed a dynamic working relationship that evolved into a profound friendship. Based on original interviews, media reports, memoirs and other accounts, Barack and Joe is the first book to tell the full story of their historic relationship and its substantial impact on the Obama presidency and its legacy.Their affinity was not predestined. Barack and Joe began wary of each other, as senators each eyeing a run at the presidency; gradually they came to respect their competitor's values and strengths, growing so fond of each other they were often caught on camera hugging, joking and even crying together. Never had such a relationship been witnessed within the walls of the White House. Side-by-side through two tension-filled terms, they shared the day-to-day joys and travails of leading the most powerful nation on earth. Joe took on an unprecedented role as chief adviser to Obama, reshaping the vice presidency. Together, they took Americans through a dire economic crisis, passage of health care reform, changing perceptions of gay marriage, a national reckoning with mass shootings and police killings of unarmed black men, a shift in America's policy in Iraq, and the elimination of Osama bin Laden. As friends, Barack and Joe weathered the strains on their relationship--magnified by intense media scrutiny--and experienced joy and sadness together: Barack provided comfort to Joe through the loss of his son Beau. As high-level exemplars, the president and the vice president modeled the virtues of male friendship for men everywhere. In the Trump era, many Americans are nostalgic for the Obama presidency, the absence of scandal, the dedication to truth, the respect for the media. What Americans also remember fondly is the warmth and decency of Barack and Joe's friendship.
Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-1861
Harold Holzer - 2008
Though Lincoln has been criticized by many historians for failing to appreciate the severity of the secession crisis that greeted his victory, Harold Holzer shows that the presidentelect waged a shrewd and complex campaign to prevent the expansion of slavery while vainly trying to limit secession to a few Deep South states.During this most dangerous White House transition in American history, the country had two presidents: one powerless (the president-elect, possessing no constitutional authority), the other paralyzed (the incumbent who refused to act). Through limited, brilliantly timed and crafted public statements, determined private letters, tough political pressure, and personal persuasion, Lincoln guaranteed the integrity of the American political process of majority rule, sounded the death knell of slavery, and transformed not only his own image but that of the presidency, even while makinginevitable the war that would be necessary to make these achievements permanent.Lincoln President-Elect is the first book to concentrate on Lincoln's public stance and private agony during these months and on the momentous consequences when he first demonstrated his determination and leadership. Holzer recasts Lincoln from an isolated prairie politician yet to establish his greatness, to a skillful shaper of men and opinion and an immovable friend of freedom at a decisive moment when allegiance to the founding credo "all men are created equal" might well have been sacrificed.
Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For
Susan Rice - 2019
Rice--National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations--delivers an inspiring account of a life in service to family and country.Although you may think you know Susan Rice--whose name became synonymous with Benghazi following her Sunday news show appearances after the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya--in Tough Love, the author reveals the truth of her surprising story with unflinching honesty. Often mischaracterized by political opponents, Rice emerges as neither a villain nor victim, but a strong, compassionate leader.Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Rice connects the personal and the professional. Taught early, with tough love, how to compete and excel as an African American woman in settings where people of color are few, Susan shares wisdom learned along the way.Laying bare the family struggles that shaped her early life in Washington, D.C., she also examines the ancestral legacies that influenced her. Rice's elders--immigrants on one side and descendants of slaves on the other--had high expectations that each generation would rise. And rise they did, but not without paying it forward--in uniform and in the pulpit, as educators, community leaders, and public servants.Susan too rose rapidly. She served throughout the Clinton administration, becoming one of the nation's youngest assistant secretaries of state and, later, one of President Obama's most trusted advisors.Rice provides an insider's account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from "Black Hawk Down" in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late 1990s, to Libya, Syria, a secret channel to Iran, the Ebola epidemic, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years. With unmatched insight and characteristic bluntness, she reveals previously untold stories behind recent national security challenges, including confrontations with Russia and China, the war against ISIS, the struggle to contain the fallout from Edward Snowden's leaks, the U.S. response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the surreal transition to the Trump administration.Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love culminates with an appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.
Profiles in Courage
John F. Kennedy - 1955
Kennedy, with an introduction by Caroline Kennedy and a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy.Written in 1955 by the then junior senator from the state of Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage serves as a clarion call to every American.In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation’s history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.Now, a half-century later, the book remains a moving, powerful, and relevant testament to the indomitable national spirit and an unparalleled celebration of that most noble of human virtues. It resounds with timeless lessons on the most cherished of virtues and is a powerful reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Profiles in Courage is as Robert Kennedy states in the foreword: “not just stories of the past but a book of hope and confidence for the future. What happens to the country, to the world, depends on what we do with what others have left us."Along with vintage photographs and an extensive author biography, this book features Kennedy's correspondence about the writing project, contemporary reviews, a letter from Ernest Hemingway, and two rousing speeches from recipients of the Profile in Courage Award. Introduction by John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, forward by John F. Kennedy’s brother Robert F. Kennedy.
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
Taylor Branch - 1988
Martin Luther King Jr. during the decade preceding his emergence as a national figure. This 1000-page effort, which won the Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction, profiles the key players & events that helped shape the American social landscape following WWII but before the civil-rights movement of the 60s reached its climax. Branch then goes a step further, endeavoring to explain how the struggles evolved as they did by probing the influences of the main actors while discussing the manner in which events conspired to create fertile ground for change. Also analyzing the beginnings of black self-consciousness, this book maps the structure of segregation & bigotry in America between '54 & '63. The author considers the constantly changing behavior of those in Washington with regard to the injustice of offical racism operating in many states at this time.Forerunner: Vernon Johns Rockefeller and Ebenezer Niebuhr and the Pool TablesFirst Trombone The Montgomery Bus BoycottA Taste of the World The Quickening Shades of PoliticsA Pawn of HistoryThe Kennedy TransitionBaptism on Wheels The Summer of Freedom RidesMoses in McComb, King in Kansas City Almost Christmas in Albany Hoover's Triangle and King's MachineThe Fireman's Last Reprieve The Fall of Ole MissTo Birmingham Greenwood and Birmingham JailThe Children's Miracle Firestorm The March on Washington Crossing Over: Nightmares and Dreams
Four Days in November: The Original Coverage of the John F. Kennedy Assassination
The New York Times - 2003
Kennedy in Dallas forty years ago remains, and will always remain, indelible in the minds of those old enough to recall it. The youngest elected leader in American history, a charming man leading what seemed a charmed life, by general consensus a president whose administration, having survived its early crises, was now at last hitting its stride, was shot and killed by a sniper firing a mail-order rifle from the southeast corner of the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. So great was the shock that time seemed to freeze in the squinting glare of late-November sun. For four days in November 1963, the business of the nation ground to a halt. The coverage provided by The New York Times is still generally considered the most complete of its day. Almost miraculously, Times reporters, writers, and editors produced 250 columns, or about 200,000 words, on and about the very first day. The other three days were no less exhaustive. Through the combined efforts of, among many others, Tom Wicker, James Reston, Max Frankel, Anthony Lewis, Harrison Salisbury, A. M. Rosenthal, and Arthur Gelb, The Times covered history as it was happening, from the assassination to the funeral. Here were the first portraits of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, the earliest speculation regarding the prospects of Lyndon Johnson's administration, the immediate reaction from world leaders, and, perhaps most of all, the pulse of a populace reeling from an event that surpassed both understanding and belief.This commemorative volume provides a haunting, firsthand, and detailed chronology of the events that took place in Dallas and Washington from November 22 to November 25, 1963. Here is history being recorded in the moment---a recitation not just of facts but of emotions and reactions as they were being experienced. The clarity of the writing is matched only by the almost desperate intensity of its occasion. Getting all the news that's fit to print seemed the only way of keeping the world from spinning further into chaos; The Times's coverage provided not just information but a sense of balance. Though no one would ultimately explain to everyone's satisfaction the why, the who, what, and how were brought with amazing speed and accuracy within our grasp. f0With an introduction by Tom Wicker and edited by Robert B. Semple Jr., Four Days in November is an extraordinary book. It will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to remember, to understand, and most of all to feel what it was like, minute by minute, detail by detail, while one of the most traumatic events in recent American history unfolded.
Renegade: The Making of a President
Richard Wolffe - 2009
But it is also a uniquely intimate portrait of the person behind the iconic posters and the Secret Service code name Renegade. Drawing on a dozen unplugged interviews with the candidate and president, as well as twenty-one months covering his campaign as it traveled from coast to coast, Richard Wolffe answers the simple yet enduring question about Barack Obama: Who is he? Based on Wolffe’s unprecedented access to Obama, Renegade reveals the making of a president, both on the campaign trail and before he ran for high office. It explains how the politician who emerged in an extraordinary election learned the personal and political skills to succeed during his youth and early career. With cool self-discipline, calculated risk taking, and simple storytelling, Obama developed the strategies he would need to survive the onslaught of the Clintons and John McCain, and build a multimillion-dollar machine to win a historic contest.In Renegade, Richard Wolffe shares with us his front-row seat at Obama’s announcement to run for president on a frigid day in Springfield, and his victory speech on a warm night in Chicago. We fly on the candidate’s plane and ride in his bus on an odyssey across a country in crisis; stand next to him at a bar on the night he secures the nomination; and are backstage as he delivers his convention speech to a stadium crowd and a transfixed national audience. From a teacher’s office in Iowa to the Oval Office in Washington, we see and hear Barack Obama with an immediacy and honesty never witnessed before. Renegade provides not only an account of Obama’s triumphs, but also examines his many personal and political trials. We see Obama wrestling with race and politics, as well as his former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright. We see him struggling with life as a presidential candidate, a campaign that falters for most of its first year, and his reaction to a surprise defeat in the New Hampshire primary. And we see him relying on his personal experience, as well as meticulous polling, to pass the presidential test in foreign and economic affairs. Renegade is an essential guide to understanding President Barack Obama and his trusted inner circle of aides and friends. It is also a riveting and enlightening first draft of history and political psychology.