JFK: In His Time and Ours
The Man and the Myths

The Man and the Myths

Fifty years later, historians are still struggling to complete a picture that grows more complex with the years.

Fall 2013

The Legacy of John F. Kennedy

Historians tend to rate JFK as a good president, not a great one. But Americans consistently give him the highest approval rating of any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Why?

JFK vs. the Military

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. A presidential historian reveals that Kennedy's success in fending them off may have been his most consequential victory.

The Real Meaning of Ich Bin ein Berliner

In West Berlin in 1963, President Kennedy delivered his most eloquent speech on the world stage. The director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum tells the evocative story behind JFK’s words.

Magnified

Fiction: What if Lee Harvey Oswald had lost his nerve? A historical novelist—who is also a student of the Kennedy assassination—imagines what might have happened next.

The Leader

Memo to the Next President

As the 1960 presidential campaign was taking shape, an eminent political scientist examined the top candidates' leadership strategies for bringing an obstinate Congress to heel.

The Nation

JFK’s New Industrial State

As New England’s textile-mill business and other industries fled to the low-wage South, a freshman senator from Massachusetts suggested a solution.

The World

The Cold War Logic of the Peace Corps

A former first lady'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 Assassination

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, A Eulogy

"It is in keeping with the Atlantic tradition that we should strive to give the long view of our late president," the magazine noted shortly after Kennedy's tragic death. "We turn to Harvard's leading historian, Samuel Eliot Morison, for an estimate of President Kennedy's place in history."

The Legacy

A Dad, a Cad

JFK was a loving family man who doted on his children—and a philanderer who seduced an intern in his wife's bed.


Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming
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