Why is it that millions who were not even alive on November 22, 1963, are still fascinated by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? And why do so many–a staggering 75% in a recent poll conducted by accomplished pollsters Peter Hart and Geoffrey Garin–question the findings of the Warren Commission?
It seems obvious that his death would have had less of an impact if Kennedy had been less admired during his lifetime, and had not been the bearer of the hopes of a generation for a better future. And that admiration continues a half-century later, with surveys ranking him the most highly rated president of the last 50 years. How come? Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, sums up the phenomenon in his new book The Kennedy Half-Century as follows:
“The American people’s idealization of John Kennedy, their determination to overlook his obvious flaws, and successive presidents’ use of the Kennedy record for their own ends have been the sparks that have repeatedly reignited JFK’s influence.”
Mr. Sabato’s book is just one of over 50 books released this year for the anniversary of the assassination. The above quote is from Lenny Picker’s article, “Books About the Kennedy Assassination” found in Publisher’s Weekly, and NPR’s report “50 Years After Assassination, Kennedy Books Offer New Analysis” makes recommendations for titles to pursue.
Thanks to guest blogger, Mary Brower, Maestro of Circulation, and the creator of the Kennedy exhibit pictured above.