Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America
A close-up on one of American history's most magical events, JFK's inaugural week, and the creation of the speech that inspired a generation and brought hope to a nation
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." On the January morning when John F. Kennedy assumed the presidency and stood to speak those words, America was divided, its citizens torn by fears of war. Kennedy's speech-called the finest since Lincoln at Gettysburg and the most memorable of any twentieth-century American politician-did more than reassure: it changed lives, marking the start of a brief, optimistic era of struggle against "tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."
Ask Not is a beautifully detailed account of the week leading up to the inaugural which stands as one of the most moving spectacles in the history of American politics. At the heart of the narrative is Kennedy's quest to create a speech that would distill American dreams and empower a new generation. Thurston Clarke's portrait of JFK during what intimates called his happiest days is balanced, revealing the President at his most dazzlingly charismatic-and cunningly pragmatic. As the snow covers Washington in a blanket of white, as statesmen and celebrities arrive for candlelit festivities, the perfectionist Kennedy pushes himself to the limit, to find the words that would capture what he most truly believed and which would far outlast his own life. For everyone who seeks to understand the fascination with all things Kennedy, the answer can be found in Ask Not.
What people are saying - Write a review
Ask not: the inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the speech that changed AmericaUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
With its famous call to service, Kennedy's January 20, 1961, inaugural address more likely moved the nation, concludes the author, than affected the change claimed by the book's title. Clarke ... Read full review
ON BOARD THE CAROLINE
Other editions - View all
Americans audience Author's interview bear any burden believed Berquist Bobby campaign Capitol Caroline Cassini Churchill delivered Democratic Eisenhower Evelyn Lincoln freedom Frost Galbraith Gallagher Graham Guerida Honorahle Hugh Sidey Ibid inaugural address Inauguration Day Jack Jackie Jackie Kennedy Jackie's January 17 January 20 JFKL JFKLOH Joe Kennedy John F Kennedy and Sorensen Kennedy asked Kennedy dictated Kennedy inaugural Kennedy Library Kennedy's later Let the Word Lincoln My Twelve Luce Lyndon Johnson morning nation never Nixon Oleg Cassini Palm Beach party Peter Lawford photograph Pierre Salinger pledge political poverty President presidential Profiles in Courage Reading Copy reporter Roosevelt Salinger Schlesinger seat secretary Senate sentence Sidey Sinatra Sitrin Sorensen Draft Sorensen Kennedy Sorensen Let Sorensen papers speech speechwriter Star Stevenson Ted Sorensen television Thayer White House tion told Truman USS SUB wanted Washington Post White House writing written wrote York