Saturday, May 27, 2017


There has been a massive number of books written about John F. Kennedy, and more have been released during this centennial year.  As the nation celebrates his 100th birthday on May 29, 2017, I have compiled a list, which in my opinion, are the one hundred best books by or about the late president. This is obviously a subjective list although many are essential works. Certainly all these books are worthy of consideration. Hopefully, this will be a valuable checklist for those interested in immersing themselves in the life and times of the nation's thirty-fifth president.

Books by John F. Kennedy
As We Remember Joe
Why England Slept
Prelude to Leadership: The Post-War Diary of John F. Kennedy
Profiles in Courage
The Strategy of Peace
The Public Papers of John F. Kennedy (3 vols.)
The Burden and the Glory (posthumous)
A Nation of Immigrants (posthumous)

Biographies of John F. Kennedy
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House
Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power
Ted Sorensen, Kennedy
Joan and Clay Blair, Jr., The Search for J.F.K
Robert Dallek, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
Chris Matthews, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero
Alan Brinkley, John F. Kennedy

General Books about John F. Kennedy
Richard Reeves, Portrait of Camelot: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House
Jacques Lowe, The Kennedy Years: A Memoir
James W. Graham, Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea
Jacques Lowe, Remembering Jack
Cecil Stoughton, Chester V. Clifton and Hugh Sidey, The Memories—JFK, 1961-1963, of Cecil Stoughton, the President’s Photographer, and Major Chester V. Clifton, the President’s Military Aide
Carl Sferrazza Anthony, The Kennedy White House: Family Life & Pictures, 1961-1963
Shannon Thomas Perich, Richard Avedon: The Kennedys, Portrait of a Family
Kitty Kelley, Capturing Camelot: Stanley Tretrick’s Iconic Images of the Kennedys

Books about Mrs. John F. Kennedy
Clint Hill, Mrs. Kennedy and Me
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Michael R. Beschloss and Caroline Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, Interviews with Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., 1964
Barbara Perry, Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier
Carl Sferrazza Anthony, As We Remember Her: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the Words of her Friends and Family
Barbara Leaming, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Oleg Cassini, A Thousand Days of Magic: Dressing Jacqueline Kennedy for the White House
Hamlish Bowles, Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years; Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Kennedy Family
Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times
Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy
Larry Tye, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon
Rose Kennedy’s Family Album: From the Fitzgerald Private Collection, 1878-1946
Jean Kennedy Smith, The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy
Scott Stossel, Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver
Mark K. Shriver, A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver
David Nasaw, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
Edward M. Kennedy, True Compass: A Memoir by Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Peter S. Canellos, ed., Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy
Barbara Leaming, Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter
Kate Clifford Larson, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Times to Remember
Barbara A. Perry, Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch
Pearl S. Buck, The Kennedy Women:  A Personal Appraisal

Barbara Leaming, Jack Kennedy: The Education of a Statesman
Robert J. Donovan, PT 109: John F. Kennedy in World War II
John T. Shaw, JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency
Sean J. Savage, The Senator from New England: The Rise of JFK
Thomas Maier, When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys
Will Swift, The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm: A Thousand  Days in London, 1938-1940
Edward J. Renehan, The Kennedys at War, 1937-1945
Lance Morrow, The Best Year of their Lives: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon in 1948
Christopher Matthews, Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America
Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie, The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK’s Five-Year Campaign

1960 Campaign and Presidency
The Speeches of Senator John F. Kennedy Presidential Campaign of 1960
Theodore H. White, The Making of the President, 1960
W. J. Rorabaugh, The Real Making of the President: Kennedy, Nixon and the 1960 Election
David Pietrusza, 1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon; The Epic Campaign that Forged Three Presidents
Jacques Lowe, Portrait: The Emergence of John F. Kennedy
James MacGregor Burns, John Kennedy: A Political Profile
Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention, 1960
Ted Widmer, ed., Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy
Hugh Sidey, John F. Kennedy, President: A Reporter’s Inside Story
Thurston Clarke, Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech that Changed America
Official Program: Inaugural Ceremonies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard J. Tofel, Sounding the Trumpet: The Making of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address
John M. Logsdon, John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon
Richard Reeves, ed., The Kennedy Years from the Pages of The New York Times
Thurston Clarke, JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President
Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
William Manchester, Portrait of a President: John F. Kennedy in Profile
Jim Bishop, A Day in the Life of President Kennedy
Letitia Baldrige, In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House
James A. Abbott and Elaine M. Rice, Designing Camelot: The Kennedy White House Restoration
Andrew Cohen, Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours that Made History
James Robert Carroll, One of Ourselves: John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Ireland
Frederick Kempe, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth
Robert A. Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power
Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy and Johnson
David G. Coleman, The Fourteenth Day: JFK and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Friends and Aides
Paul B. Fay, Jr., The Pleasure of his Company
Kenneth P. O’Donnnell and David F. Powers, Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Helen O’Donnell, The Irish Brotherhood:  John F. Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency
Robert Dallek, Inside the Kennedy White House
Pierre Salinger, With Kennedy
Ted Sorensen, Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History
Benjamin C. Bradlee, Conversations with Kennedy
Benjamin C. Bradlee, That Special Grace
Evelyn Lincoln, My Twelve Years with John F. Kennedy

William Manchester, Death of a President
Gus Russo and Harry Moses, ed., Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination
Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Gerald Blaine, The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break their Silence
Clint Hill, Five Days in November
Jim Bishop, The Day Kennedy was Shot
Ellen Fitzpatrick, Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation

Larry Sabato, The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy

Political Memorabilia
Harvey Goldberg, The Campaign Items of John F. Kennedy, 50th anniversary edition

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