In this gripping memoir, John F. Kennedy's closest advisor recounts in full for the first time his experience counseling Kennedy through the most dramatic moments in American history.
Sorensen returns to January 1953, when he and the freshman senator from Massachusetts began their extraordinary professional and personal relationship. Rising from legislative assistant to speechwriter and advisor, the young lawyer from Nebraska worked closely with JFK on his most important speeches, as well as his book Profiles in Courage. Sorensen encouraged the junior senator's political ambitions--from a failed bid for the vice presidential nomination in 1956 to the successful presidential campaign in 1960, after which he was named Special Counsel to the President.
Sorensen describes in thrilling detail his experience advising JFK during some of the most crucial days of his presidency, from the decision to go to the moon to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when JFK requested that the thirty-four-year-old Sorensen draft the key letter to Khrushchev at the most critical point of the world's first nuclear confrontation. After Kennedy was assassinated, Sorensen stayed with President Johnson for a few months before leaving to write a biography of JFK. In 1968 he returned to Washington to help run Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. Through it all, Sorensen never lost sight of the ideals that brought him to Washington and to the White House, working tirelessly to promote and defend free, peaceful societies.
Illuminating, revelatory, and utterly compelling, Counselor is the brilliant, long-awaited memoir from the remarkable man who shaped the presidency and the legacy of one of the greatest leaders America has ever known.
For 11 years, from 1953 until President Kennedy's assassination, Sorensen was JFK's indispensable adviser and speechwriter, eventually serving as special counsel and key Kennedy administration official. This warm and touching memoir captures the optimism and energy of those Kennedy years. Sorensen devotes several chapters to his youth in Lincoln, NE, and to his years in New York following Kennedy's death, which included practicing international law, writing the best-selling Kennedy, running unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, and having his reputation dragged through the mud during his unsuccessful confirmation hearing for CIA director under President Carter. The most fascinating chapters describe the author's special assignments, including his role in writing Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles in Courage, helping draft the President's iconic 1960 inaugural address, and doing critical, behind-the-scenes work during the harrowing Cuban Missile Crisis. Sorensen offers a refreshing account that doesn't dish the dirt but remains focused on Kennedy's politics, as might be expected from a person "who never wanted to be JFK's drinking buddy [but his] trusted advisor." This graceful narrative by one of the last surviving members of the Kennedy administration is strongly recommended for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/08.]--Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 21, 2008
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