In 1/53, freshman Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts hired a 24-year-old Nebraska Unitarian as his #2 legislative assistant-on a trial basis. Despite differences in background, Sorenson in the 11 years following became known as Kennedy’s “intellectual blood-bank,” “top policy aide” & “alter ego.” Sorenson knew Kennedy the man, the Senator, the candidate & the President as no other associate did thru these years. He was with him during the key crises & turning points-including the spectacular race for the Vice Presidency at the 1956 convention, the launching of Kennedy’s Presidential candidacy, the speech to the Protestant clergy of Houston, the TV debates with Nixon & election night at Hyannis Port. The 1st appointment made by the new President was to name Ted Sorensen his Special Counsel. Sorenson relates the role of the White House staff & evaluates Kennedy’s relations with his Cabinet & other appointees. He reveals Kennedy’s errors on the Bay of Pigs, his attitudes toward the press & Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, & his handling of Berlin & the Cuban missile crisis. Three months to the day after Dallas, Sorensen left the White House to write the account of those years that only he could write.
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