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John F. Kennedy: John F. Kennedy

Year 12 Extension History

Resources in Accessit

Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.

Journal of American History-PDF

This article explores the issue of how the potent, alluring image of John Kennedy was constructed. 

New Criterion- PDF

The fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination presents us with a flood of books and television documentaries retelling a story that has become so familiar that it almost seems like a nursery rhyme.

Political Psychology-PDF

This article uses both public and private documents to measure the operational code of John F. Kennedy in the summer of 1962. Previous operational code research (and indeed, much of content analysis more generally) has relied exclusively on the analysis of public speeches and is thus open to charges that the speeches represent attempts at deception, persuasion, or impression management.


In this study the author examines the manner in which those events affected the belief system of the most prominent figure in the crisis from the American perspective- President John F. Kennedy.

Canadian Journal of Political Science

 What is the role of personality in the political process? The least exclusive answer to this question is that some conditions encourage the expression of individual attributes more than others.

Human Events- PDF

The two faces of JFK

Society for History Education

WHEN LYNDON JOHNSON BEGAN HIS PRESIDENCY with the words "Let us continue," his meaning was clear. The idea of America had acquired another shrine. JFK was the apostle of racial and religious equality, compassion toward the underprivileged, and a champion of democracy.

You Tube

Hersh's 1997 book about John F. Kennedy, The Dark Side of Camelot, made a number of controversial assertions about the former president.


In October 1962, the world held its breath. On the edge of the Caribbean Sea, just a few miles from the Florida coast, the two great superpowers were at a stand-off. Destruction seemed inevitable. After a tense few months of posturing and careful negotiation, the Cuban Missile Crisis was averted; the US and USSR went their separate ways. Fifty years later, this program reveals the shocking drama that took place underwater on board Soviet submarine B-59, which brought us so much closer to World War Three than anybody realised.

You Tube

You Tube

In 2003 Dallek published the New York Times Bestseller An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963, the first major biography of John F. Kennedy in 40 years, based on archival resources and unprecedented access to his medical records, revealing his secret struggle with major health problems, as well as his love affairs, the backstage role of his father, his appointment of his brother Robert F. Kennedy to the office of United States Attorney-General, and speculations about what he would have done about the Vietnam War if he had lived.


International Society of Political Psychology

 The narrative associated with John F. Kennedy and the Promise of a better world is part of American political mythology. This myth provides a provocative discourse for exploring the underlying subjectivity in the construction and under- standing of mythical narratives in contemporary culture. 

Oxford Journals

John F. Kennedy's career was premised on an "ideology of masculinity"; he used this ideology to justify his claim to presidential power. Employing culturally resonant images derived from America's republican heritage, Kennedy constructed an aristocratic persona embodying the virtues of the stoic warrior intellectual. 

New Society

How long does it take to transform a historical figure into a mythical one?

John F. Kennedy will long be remembered for challenging the American people: to put a man on the moon, to put aside racial prejudices, to join a volunteer corps to help undeveloped countries. From his childhood to his assassination, this special explores the life and legacy of the 35th President.

National Geographic

According to Robert P. Watson, a historian who has researched the sexual indiscretions of U.S. Presidents, at least seven of them—ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton—have had affairs both before and during their terms of office. But John F. Kennedy, whose dalliances with scores of women, including movie goddess Marilyn Monroe, have become the stuff of legend.

The Independent

To the public, he was the ultimate emblem of a shining new age. In private, he was a drug-taking philanderer with Mob links. In the week of the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy's assassination, Professor Mark White salutes the president of spin.



The assassination of John F Kennedy means that we all get to decide how his story should have ended, and thus plot an alternative trajectory for the country he so fleetingly led. The events in Dallas exactly 50 years ago made JFK as much a myth as a man, one of history's most endlessly malleable figures.