With its cold war enemies led by dictators who promoted the myth of their heroic leadership, how might democratic America respond? This book looks at how John F. Kennedy confronted this challenge, moulding the narratives of 'consensus history' into the activist rhetoric of the New Frontier. It examines how his image, heroic style of leadership, and legacy - America's war in Vietnam - impacted upon his successors. Covering the period from 1960 to the present and against the background of key contemporary events, the book draws upon a wide variety of sources to illuminate its subjects. After Kennedy, hero, came Lyndon Johnson, casualty of war; Richard Nixon, heroic failure; Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, faith-healers; Ronald Reagan, star; George Bush, deputy; and Bill Clinton, survivor. From Kennedy's inauguration to Clinton's impeachment hearings, the book examines the development of the character of the contemporary presidency during one of the most fascinating and turbulent periods in its history. Written in an engaging and accessible style, it offers a challenging and provocative synthesis of the subject as well as exploring new ground.
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(234mm x 156mm x 24mm)
Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
During the Cold War, several communist countries were headed by charismatic dictators whose personalities enhanced their threat to Western democracy; as a result, American leaders had to create their own style of heroic leadership that would stand up to this. John F Kennedy led the way, shaping 'consensus history' into activist rhetoric. This book examines how image, leadership style and legacy - American involvement in the Vietnam War - and their impact on successive presidents. From Kennedy to Clinton, it traces the developing image of the presidency during one of the most interesting and troubled periods in its history. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Jon Ropert
Jon Roper is Professor of American Studies at the University of Swansea and has taught at the University of Tennessee, the University of Wisconsin, and Ohio State University. He is the author of The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Presidents of America: An Authoritative History of the American Presidency.