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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (398 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ted Sorensen Narrator: Ted Sorensen Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sorensen has written a book that will be cherished for generations.” 

    President Barack Obama

  • “This is an important book, and it’s also a poignant one. As Jackie Kennedy once said of a speech that Ted Sorensen gave about her husband, it captures not on the soul of John Kennesy but also the the soul of Sorensen. This clear-eyed but loving memoir is fasinating as history and totally compelling as a narrative.” 

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times Bestselling author

  • “Ted Sorensen has given us a very welcome up close and personal view of life and politics at the side of John F. Kennedy. There are fresh insights and enduring lessons for this and future generations to study and embrace. And painful memories of what we lost.”  

    Tom Brokaw 

  • “This is a piece of history told by a passionate participant who is a fine writer and most engaging reader.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “By delivering the material himself, Sorensen adds a personal touch…At its core, Sorensen’s book provides a revealing glimpse into many of the defining events of the Kennedy administration. Sorensen’s performance adds gravitas without invoking any sense of bitterness or disingenuousness.”  


  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gasuski Suski | 2/7/2014

    " I walked in to The Bookworm for my Book Club and there was quite a commotion going on. The author is Ted Soresen who is from Lincoln, NE. Oh I said a local author and then realized how famous this person is for writing speeches for John Kennendy. Ted lives in NY now (I did previously) and now I live in his state where he was born. A brilliant man and I got to meet him personally, how lucky can one get. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tobi | 1/31/2014

    " Some people just lead very interesting lives and this is the story of one of them. It didn't bog down in too many small details but it told the whole story of what it was like to work and live so close to JFK, but Ted had a life before and after JFK and we get to read about that too, and it is very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rich | 1/28/2014

    " It started out slow but became more fascinating as I read further in the book. Ted Sorenson was a remarkable individual. He writes about his close working relationship with JFK in the Senate and the White House. You also learn about what went on behind the scenes politically during the Kennedy adminstration. Sorenson also writes about his life outside of Washington D.C. after he left government but never away from politics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jessica Clark | 1/25/2014

    " This is a great book and an easy read. It is an interesting perspective on history and his Sorensen's own life. The organization of the book was a little odd, but overall it was an enjoyable read. "

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About the Author

Theodore Chaikin “Ted” Sorensen (1928 to 2010) was an American presidential advisor, lawyer, and writer best known as President John F. Kennedys special counsel, strategist, advisor, and legendary speechwriter, helping Kennedy secure the 1960 election. President Kennedy once called him his intellectual blood bank, and President Carter nominated him for director of the CIA—though the nomination was quickly squashed.