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Any biography of JFK is bound to be unsatisfying for the reason that is the title of this great biography, <U>An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963</U>. The abrupt nature of JFK's assassination in 1963 makes the hope and promise of his administration so much more frustrating for its loss.
Dallek provides an exhaustive, if fleeting in the abridgement, review of Kennedy's life, from the family dynamics that preceded his birth to the day he died. He reaffirms all of Kennedy's failings and celebrates is triumphs.
Narration provided by Richard McGonagle is very good, who when speaking lines by Kennedy, does so with the distinctive Massachusetts accent. This was actually annoying to me at first but I must say, grew on me to where I came to expect it as the book went on.
I would very much like the opportunity to hear the unabridged version of this book but doubt if it would provide any more answers to the unanswered questions of why?
Dallek deliberately avoids, to his credit but to my disappointment, any speculation about conspiracy theories with regard to Kennedy's death.
Most amazing to me about this book were the revelations about Kennedy's unbelieveable medical problems and the lengths he and those around him went to conceal them and treat them.
I highly recommend this book. Kennedy, whether you believe he was a great president or not, was a peacemaker and filled the world with hope for better days.
30 of 33 people found this review helpful
Dallek was my professor at UCLA and I read the book before listening to the audo - a great book, readable and compelling. Dallek illuminates how JFK's illnesses were a significant force in shaping his character for the better and for the worse. He documents in great detail some of the most frightening moments in the cold war, political machinations and intrigue, the early days of the civil rights movements and how JFK and the political establishment reacted to this new reality. There is just so much here - there are passages that will have people hitting "rewind" to play again. A great book!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful