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Download Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, by Chris Matthews Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,403 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chris Matthews Narrator: Holter Graham Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“What was he like?” 

Jack Kennedy said the reason people read biography is to answer that basic question. With the verve of a novelist, Chris Matthews gives us just that. We see this most beloved president in the company of friends. We see and feel him close-up, having fun and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his life from privileged, rebellious youth to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in war and selfless rescue of his PT boat crew. We watch JFK as a young politician learning to play hardball and watch him grow into the leader who averts a nuclear war.What was he like, this person whose own wife called him “that elusive, unforgettable man”? The Jack Kennedy you discover here wanted never to be alone, never to be bored. He loved courage, hated war, lived each day as if it were his last. 

Chris Matthews’s extraordinary biography is based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, oral histories by top political aide Kenneth O’Donnell and others, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas. You’ll learn the origins of his inaugural call to “Ask what you can do for your country.” You’ll discover his role in the genesis of the Peace Corps, his stand on civil rights, his push to put a man on the moon, his ban on nuclear arms testing. You’ll get, more than ever before, to the root of the man, including the unsettling aspects of his personal life. As Matthews writes, “I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.” 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If history at its best is about telling stories that bring the past to life, then Chris Matthews is a master storyteller, for this fascinating portrait brings Jack Kennedy more vividly to life than any recent work.”

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “In his engaging new biography…Matthews, who has a deep knowledge of American political history, draws on conversations with numerous people…[offering] a valuable reminder of Kennedy’s skill at uniting toughness with inspirational leadership.”

    New York Times

  • “Matthews is at his best in describing the political dynamics, strategizing and realpolitik that permitted Kennedy to succeed first in Massachusetts politics, then on the national stage and, finally, in capturing the presidency despite the liabilities of religion and youth.” 

    Washington Post

  • “[A] stirring biography.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Matthews…blends tributes and chastisement in this highly personal account of John. F. Kennedy’s career.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Readers wanting a lively overview of Kennedy, the flawed man and inspiring leader, should turn to this poignant study.” 

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Justin | 2/8/2014

    " I started reading this book of and on for the past several months, but I still say it was a very informative read. I know people have said this is not the most detailed book about JFK, but for me it was my first real view into that time period in political American history. Jack Kennedy, as Chris Matthews calls him was extraordinary man who had to deal with many physical ailments, an unloving mother and many personal demons. But with all of that he was able to rescue his men during WW2, solve the Cuban Missile Crisis, usher in the Civil Rights Movement and create the Peace Core. We owe a lot to Jack Kennedy and Chris Matthews allowed us to see that in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Harry Lane | 1/28/2014

    " Kennedy's life has been examined in detail before, and this book adds little to the sum of knowledge in that area. Rather, Matthews has attempted, through anecdote and explication of personal relationships, to bring Kennedy's character and thinking to life, to explain in Matthew's words, who he was. That he succeeds in large part is no small accomplishment, considering that Jack was one of those individuals who always seemed to stand apart, even from himself. Kennedy's flaws are somewhat glossed over, and in some cases seen to strengthen his ability to accomplish all that he did in the political arena. I found the accounts of Kennedy's run for the Senate, the '56 vice presidential affair, and the 1960 election fascinating, but that sort of "inside baseball" is not to everyone's taste. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tim Dean | 1/28/2014

    " Great book about a great president who overcame his personal issues to lead a nation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mary | 12/30/2013

    " I've always been curious about JFK because so much has been said about him and I was too young when he died. This is a well written book that provides just the right amount of information. "

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