Listening in : the secret White House recordings of John F. Kennedy /
John F. Kennedy Library Foundation ; selected and introduced by Ted Widmer ; foreword by Caroline Kennedy.
1st ed.
New York : Hyperion, c2012.
xvii, 300 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. + 2 sound discs (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
1401324568 (hbk.), 9781401324568 (hbk.)
More Details
added author
New York : Hyperion, c2012.
1401324568 (hbk.)
9781401324568 (hbk.)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 291-292) and index.
A Look Inside
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, October 2012
Washington Post, November 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
During his presidency, John F. Kennedy recorded over 260 hours of meetings and telephone conversations. The taping system remained a closely held secret, even from his top aides. This book takes readers behind-the-scenes for a glimpse at one of America's most famous and revered presidencies.
Main Description
Now available for the first time to the general public, this book includes transcripts and recordings from President Kennedy's time in office offering unprecedented insight into his thoughts on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, and many other world events.
Main Description
During his presidency, John F. Kennedy recorded over 360 hours of meeting and telephone conversations. Most of what these tapes contain was a secret, even to his staff, until now. The Kennedy Library Foundation selected the most interesting and engaging excerpts from President Kennedy's White House Recordings. These include Kennedy's frustration over Civil Rights, his insights into Vietnam, the Space Race, and more. Each transcript of the selected recordings will be accompanied by a written explanation of the historical context in which the recorded meeting took place as well as original and primary declassified documents that were discussed at the meeting or were generated as a result of that meeting. In addition, White House photographs that document the meeting itself or participants of the meetings will be included. The publication will also include a CD of the most interesting recordings contained in the book.
Main Description
In July 1962, in an effort to preserve an accurate record of Presidential decision-making in a highly charged atmosphere of conflicting viewpoints, strategies and tactics, John F. Kennedy installed hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet Room. The result is a priceless historical archive comprising some 265 hours of taped material. JFK was elected president when Civil Rights tensions were near the boiling point, and Americans feared a nuclear war. Confronted with complex dilemmas necessitating swift and unprecedented action, President Kennedy engaged in intense discussion and debate with his cabinet members and other advisors. Now, in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy presidency, the John F. Kennedy Library and historian Ted Widmer have carefully selected the most compelling and important of these remarkable recordings for release, fully restored and re-mastered onto two 75-minute CDs for the first time. Listening In represents a uniquely unscripted, insider account of a president and his cabinet grappling with the day-to-day business of the White House and guiding the nation through a hazardous era of uncertainty. Accompanied by extensively annotated transcripts of the recordings, and with a foreword by Caroline Kennedy, Listening In delivers the story behind the story in the unguarded words and voices of the decision-makers themselves. Listening In covers watershed events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, Vietnam, and the arms race, and offers fascinating glimpses into the intellectual methodology of a circumspect president and his brilliant, eclectic brain trust. Just as the unique vision of President John F. Kennedy continues to resonate half a century after his stirring speeches and bold policy decisions, the documentary candor of Listening In imparts a vivid, breathtaking immediacy that will significantly expand our understanding of his time in office.

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