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Download Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America Audiobook, by Thurston Clarke
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (94 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thurston Clarke Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN:
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A close-up on one of American history's most splendid 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. Citizens around the world were torn by fears of war. Kennedy's speech, called the finest since Lincoln at Gettysburg, the most memorable of any 20th-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. 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 gradually covers Washington in a blanket of white, as statesmen and celebrities arrive for candle-lit festivities, Kennedy, an obsessed perfectionist, pushes himself, his family, and advisors to the limit to create greatness, to find the words which captured what he most truly believed and, as it happened, which far outlasted his own life.

For all who seek to understand the fascination with all things Kennedy, the answer is here. Ask Not explains the phenomenon to the heart and mind.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bdesmond Desmond | 10/31/2012

    " Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America by Thurston Clarke (2004) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 10/9/2011

    " This is a great historical book among other things. Highly recommended "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Justin | 2/1/2009

    " This is the most creative biography I've ever read. It's a story told through the writing of an inaugural address. The stories told around Kennedy's inauguration are a must for any Kennedy buff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Musgrave | 3/6/2008

    " A true snapshot of the time before the Presidency of JFK. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronnyjane Goldsmith | 11/16/2007

    " I have read this book 3 times. It is as beautifully written as was the inaugural speech of President Kennedy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 10/13/2005

    " Xmas present from future wife at our first Xmas together :) "

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About the Author

Thurston Clarke has written eleven widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. His Pearl Harbor Ghosts was the basis of a CBS documentary and his bestselling Lost Hero, a biography of Raoul Wallenberg, was made into an award-winning NBC miniseries. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other publications. A recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards, he lives with his wife and three daughters in upstate New York.

About the Narrator

Edward Herrmann (1943–2014) was one of America’s top audiobook narrators. He won multiple Earphones and Audie Awards, and his narration of the King James version of the Bible remains a benchmark in the industry.