Politics & Polls #215: All About JFK (Fredrik Logevall)

Jan 12 2021
By B. Rose Huber
Topics Politics
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Today, many are examining leadership in American politics. Historians, biographers, and journalists are turning to the past to uncover how leadership, especially the presidency, has changed throughout the decades.

Among those is historian Fredrik Logevall, who recently published a book on President John F. Kennedy, titled “JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956.” Logevall joins Julian Zelizer in this episode to dispel some of the myths surrounding John F. Kennedy presenting a complex and sometimes vulnerable American leader.

Logevall is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and professor of history at Harvard University.


Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN Political Analyst and a regular guest on NPR’s “Here and Now.” He is the author and editor of 21 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society(2015), the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress and Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974 (Norton), co-authored with Kevin Kruse. His new book is Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party (Penguin Press). The New York Times named the book as an Editor's Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books in 2020. He is currently writing a new book about Abraham Joshua Heschel for the Jewish Lives Series of Yale University Press. Zelizer, who has published over 1000 op-eds, has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the New York Historical Society, and New America. He also co-hosts a popular podcast called Politics & Polls.

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