Profiles in Courage (slipcased edition): Decisive Moments in the Lives of Celebrated Americans

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9780061205682: Profiles in Courage (slipcased edition): Decisive Moments in the Lives of Celebrated Americans

John F. Kennedy's spirited words and devotion to courage live on in this edition of his Pulitzer Prize-winning portraits of Americans. "Thoughtful and persuasive."-- New York Times

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About the Author:

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) was president of the United States from 1961 to 1963. At forty-three, he was the youngest man ever elected to the Oval Office and the first Roman Catholic president.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

(From the Epilogue by John Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy) All our lives, people approached us to say, "Your father changed my life." They go on to describe their own commitment to public service, community involvement, and work for social justice John F. Kennedy inspired one generation, and now others, to believe that politics can be a noble profession.

For President Kennedy, history was not a dull, dry subject, but came alive in the stories of people who risked their careers to stand up for what was right for our country, even when it was not the easy thing to do. Our father often used to say, "One man can make a difference, and every man should try." Of course, this applies to each of us, including women. Many people first learn how this is true by reading this book. The leaders of the past, like Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Edmund G. Ross, have set a shining example for Americans today to live up to.

A few years ago, our family decided that the best way to honor John F, Kennedy would be to honor people who were continuing his work, who shared his vision for our country and his commitment to giving of themselves to make it a better place to live. We created the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to be awarded to elected officials who exemplify the kind of courage he wrote about.

At that time, some people said, "There are no courageous politicians today. You will never find anyone to receive the award." But they were wrong. We have learned that at all levels of government, in all parts of our country, across the political spectrum, they are there. As a society, we need to encourage people to choose public service as a career, and we need to celebrate them for standing on principle.

Interestingly, many of the stories in this book tell of courage in standing up against slavery around the time of the Civil War. More than one hundred years later, the struggle for civil rights goes on. The first two Profiles in Courage Award winners, and many other courageous Americans, prove that we must never stop fighting for what we believe is right. Our first recipient, Alabama Congressman Carl Elliott, fought for equal opportunity in education and was redistricted of his congressional seat in retaliation for his courageous and principled stand. Our second winner, Georgia Democratic Congressman Charles Weltner, took an oath to support his party's ticket in the upcoming fall election. When segregationist Lester Maddox won the preliminary and became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, Weltner followed his conscious and resigned from politics, rather than violate his oath, or belief that segregation was wrong.

Other winners include Congressman Mike Synar and Henry Gonzalez. They battled powerful special interest groups like the gun lobby, the tobacco lobby, and the banking industry, fighting instead for the individual citizens who sent them to Washington. Governor Jim Florio lost his re-election campaign after he passed the nation's toughest gun control law in New Jersey. Governor Lowell Weicker introduced Connecticut's first state income tax in spite of its unpopularity. Long-time teacher and school superintendent Corkin Cherubini won the Profile in Courage Award for fighting against a system which separated children on the basis of race rather than ability, in spite of the fact that his life was threatened by members of his community. Alabama Judge Charles Price was honored for upholding the separation of church and state by ruling that another judge's courtroom display of the ten commandments violated the First Amendment. And, when the armed and dangerous Freemen tried to take over a small Montana community, 1998 Profile in Courage Winner County Attorney Nickolas Murnion stood alone against them, upholding democracy and the rule of law.

Each of these men risked their careers to do what they believed was right, and often they risked their lives. We hope that each person who reads this book and learns about courageous people in public life will realize that when we face a difficult decision which is bound to be unpopular, we are not alone. Each of us must stand up for what we believe in and be willing to take the consequences, if we want to make our country a better place to live.

Excerpted from Profiles In Courage. Reprinted with permission by BD&L.

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Kennedy, John F.
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Book Description Harper, 2006. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: In 1954-1955, John F. Kennedy's active role as a Senator in the affairs of the nation was interrupted for the better part of a year by his convalescence from an operation to correct a disability incurred as skipper of a World War II torpedo boat. He used his "idle" hours to great advantage; he rediscovered, and did intensive research into, the courage and patriotism of a handful of Americans who at crucial moments in history had revealed a special sort of greatness: men who disregarded dreadful consequences to their public and private lives to do that one thing which seemed right in itself. These men ranged from the extraordinarily colorful to the near-drab; from the born aristocrats to the self-made. They were men of various political and regional allegiances-;their one overriding loyalty was to the United States and to the right as God gave them to see it. There was John Quincy Adams, who lost his Senate seat and was repudiated in Boston for his support of his father's enemy Thomas Jefferson; Sam Houston, who performed political acts of courage as dramatic as his heroism on the field of battle; Thomas Hart Benton, whose proud and sarcastic tongue fought against the overwhelming odds that insured his political death; and Edmond Ross who "looked down into his open grave" as he saved President Johnson from an impeachment; and Norris of Nebraska; and Taft of Ohio; and Lamar of Mississippi (who did as much as any one man to heal the wounds of civil war). There was Daniel Webster, scourged for his devotion to Union by the most talented array of constituents ever to attack a Senator. For the most part Kennedy's patriots are United States Senators, but he also pays tribute to such men as Governor Altgeld of Illinois and Charles Evans Hughes of New York. And in the opening and closing chapters, which are as inspiring as they are revealing, Kennedy draws on his personal experience to tell something of the satisfactions and burdens of a Senator's job-;of the pressures, both outward and inward-;and of the standards by which a man of principle must work and live. John F. Kennedy has used wonderful skill in transforming the facts of history into dramatic personal stories. There are suspense, color and inspiration here, but first of all there is extraordinary understanding of that intangible thing called courage. Courage such as these men shared, Kennedy makes clear, is central to all morality-;a man does what he must in spite of personal consequences-;and these exciting stories suggest the thought that, without in the least disparaging the courage with which men die, we should not overlook the true greatness adorning those acts of courage with which men must live. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0061205680

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