In this episode, in recognition of John F. Kennedy’s 100 birthday – I know, 100?, Really? – we dive into the life and legacy of the nation’s 35th President. Every couple of years, we read about a poll that ranks the presidents of the United States from best to worst. These surveys generally attract a lot of public attention, and they do so for two reasons.
First, lots of people want to know where recent presidents rank (where’s Obama? Bush?).And second, many people want to know who’s in the top 10. They want to see if Lincoln ranks number one versus Washington, but they also seem keenly interested in the ranking of presidents like John F. Kennedy. JFK often lands in the top 10. In fact, a recent CNN Poll of historians put Kennedy at #8. But this result often leaves historians and political scientists scratching their heads. Kennedy, after all, served less than one full term. And he had his share of personal flaws and political failures. Well, there’s no simple answer to this question. But part of this answer is certainly tied to the way JFK created a magnetic political persona on his way to becoming President and then, following his assassination, the way Kennedy loyalists carefully crafted and preserved a certain kind of historical image of JFK.
That’s our focus in this episode. Here’s the lineup:
1. First, I sit down with historian Michael J. Hogan to talk about his latest book, The Afterlife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A Biography. Hogan is a distinguished professor of history at the University of Illinois, Springfield and an emeritus professor of history at Ohio State University.
2. Second, I visit the museum dedicated to the JFK assassination, the 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to talk to some of the people who visit the site.
About Michal J. Hogan – website
Michael J. Hogan, The Afterlife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A Biography.
Robert Dallek, JFK: An Unfinished Life, 1917-1963
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House
Music for This Episode
Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com)
Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive)
Ketsa, “I Will Be There” (Free Music Archive)
PC III, “Cavalcades” (Free Music Archive)
Jon Luc Hefferman, “Epoch” (Free Music Archive)
The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive)
Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer
Associate Producer: Devyn McHugh
Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson
Podcasting Consultant: Darrell Darnell of Pro Podcast Solutions
Photographer: John Buckingham
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