Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Uncommon Wisdom of JFK. Eds. Bill Adler and Tom Folsom.

New York: Rugged Land, LLC

Why read it? John Kennedy was a prolific reader. He thought deeply about government and life. He fully appreciated that America was a model for free societies. If America failed, society based on freedom would also fail. He appreciated the transience of life and was fully conscious that the effects of a World War III could obliterate the earth. They were the times in which he lived and governed.

Ideas and Quotes for Discussion
"If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help."

"A man does what he must--in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures--and that is the basis of all human morality."

"Every man is an enigma."

"If we fail, then freedom fails."

"What we do in this country, the kind of society we build, that will tell whether freedom will be sustained around the world."

"The great trouble with American politics today is that we talk in slogans."

"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."

"Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."

"All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days, nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime. But let us begin."

"The mere absence of war is not peace."

"Total war makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air force in the the Second World War."

"Freedom is not merely a word or an abstract theory, but the most effective instrument for advancing the welfare of man."

"I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we too will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit."

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