Washington, D.C.—To mark the life, political career, and enduring legacy of John F. Kennedy, The Atlantic has published a special commemorative edition, “JFK: In His Time and Ours,” available on newsstands today, September 11, 2013. New and old, the pieces compiled here reveal the many sources—the glamour, the drama of his era, the shock of his death, the revelations over the years of his private pains and doubts—of President Kennedy’s continuing hold on the national imagination. In addition to new pieces about President Kennedy, the collection draws on the magazine’s rich archive of reportage, essays, and poetry.
With an introduction by President Bill Clinton, this special issue features classic articles by John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Walter Lippmann, David Brinkley, James MacGregor Burns, and many others. The issue also includes new essays by the historians Alan Brinkley and Robert Dallek; by Thomas Putnam, the director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; and by the historical novelist Thomas Mallon. The issue is illustrated with rarely seen images and documents from the JFK Library.
“In this issue we’ve juxtaposed contemporary accounts of Kennedy with revelations and insights gained in the decades since, in hopes of providing a fuller portrait of the man and his legacy,” said James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic. “I think readers will conclude that Kennedy remains with us not just because of the glamour, not just because of Camelot, but because his presidency, brief and turbulent as it was, set a foundation for profound change.”
Selected works in the collection include:
- “Passing the Torch” (Fall 2013): In this opening essay, President Bill Clinton assesses the civil-rights accomplishments of President Kennedy.
- “The Legacy of John F. Kennedy” (Fall 2013): Historians tend to rate JFK as a good president, not a great one. But Americans have consistently given him the highest approval rating of any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Alan Brinkley explains why.
- “JFK vs. the Military” (Fall 2013): As Robert Dallek reveals, President Kennedy faced a foe more relentless than Khrushchev, just across the Potomac: the bellicose Joint Chiefs of Staff argued for the deployment of nuclear weapons and kept pressing to invade Cuba.
- “The Real Meaning of Ich bin ein Berliner” (Fall 2013): In West Berlin in 1963, President Kennedy delivered his most eloquent speech on the world stage. Thomas Putnam tells the evocative story behind JFK’s words.
- “Magnified” (Fall 2013): What if Lee Harvey Oswald had lost his nerve? In a short story, Thomas Mallon—a student of the Kennedy assassination—imagines what might have happened next.
- “JFK’s New Industrial State” (January 1954): As New England’s textile-mill business and other industries fled to the low-wage South, John F. Kennedy, then a freshman senator from Massachusetts, suggested a solution in a cover story for The Atlantic.
- “The Cold War Logic of the Peace Corps” (April 1961): Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s notion for competing with the Soviets: give young Americans a chance to spend two years in an underdeveloped country, offering help and spreading goodwill toward the West.
- “The Baleful Influence of Gambling” (April 1962): Robert F. Kennedy came to be considered one of the nation’s most effective attorneys general. His interest in organized crime led him to crusade against illegal gambling, which was known to finance criminal enterprise.
- “Did Kennedy Cause the Crisis?” (February 1982): Garry Wills argued that the Kennedys’ secret attempts to topple Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba prompted the dictator to accept Soviet missiles in 1962.
- “Courage in a Pillbox Hat” (December 2001): Caitlin Flanagan remembers Jacqueline Kennedy’s public dignity in the face of catastrophe.
The Atlantic’s commemorative JFK issue is available for purchase on newsstands and online. An electronic version is also available in The Atlantic’s flagship iPad app and on Kindle devices.
About The Atlantic
Since its founding in 1857 as a magazine about “the American Idea” that would be of “no party or clique,” The Atlantic has been at the forefront of brave thinking in journalism. One of the first magazines to launch on the Web in the early 1990s, The Atlantic has continued to help shape the national debate across print, digital, and event platforms. With the addition of its news- and opinion-tracking site, TheAtlanticWire.com, TheAtlanticCities.com on global cities, and digital publication The Atlantic Weekly, The Atlantic is a multi-media forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is the flagship property of Washington, D.C.–based publisher Atlantic Media.