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Incomparable Grace


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About the Author

Mark K. Updegrove is a presidential historian and the author of four books on the presidency. He currently serves as the President and CEO of the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation. Once the publisher of Newsweek, he is the former director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library.


"Absorbing...Updegrove provides a balanced look at Kennedy's personal and political failings while offering a look at why a man who served just 1,036 days in office continues to rank so high by historians among the nation's presidents."-Associated Press

"Updegrove limns Kennedy's ascent from overshadowed, somewhat sickly second son to war hero... Updegrove doesn't lose his way in excessive detail, penning a biography that brings JFK into living perspective for a younger generation who might know him only from their parents' tales."-Booklist (starred review)

"Updegrove's skillful portrait reveals a president who learned on the job and did so with humility, 'calling forth the best in all of us,' which helps account for the widely shared enshrinement of Kennedy's memory today... A well-rendered portrait showing that presidential politics can be both effective and a force for the good."-Kirkus

"The fast-paced narrative smoothly transitions from one high-stakes matter to the next and reveals just how eventful the abbreviated Kennedy presidency was.... a brisk and entertaining biography."-Publishers Weekly

"In this tremendously absorbing and inviting portrait, Mark Updegrove delivers a warm, yet unflinching examination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. His deep knowledge of the presidency allows him to convey the political complexity of the issues without ever losing the narrative flow. This is an important book that captures the energy, hope and vision of a young president navigating a potential nuclear confrontation, a gathering storm in Vietnam, and the struggle for justice at home."-Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Leadership: In Turbulent Times

"We are lucky that Mark Updegrove has brought us this elegant, concise, knowing, fluent and highly-readable look at John F. Kennedy as president. In these troubled times, JFK's leadership looks better and better in the rearview mirror, and Updegrove here deploys his wise historical judgment to show us the essentials of why."-Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author of Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times

"With narrative gifts worthy of its title, Incomparable Grace rescues JFK from Camelot mythology. In its place Mark Updegrove gives us the event- and conscience-driven transformation of a cautious Cold War liberal to a trailblazing advocate for nuclear restraint and the dismantling of his own country's segregated culture. Candid and clear eyed about Kennedy's failings, this hugely readable volume explains and justifies his lofty ranking among historians, and his continuing hold over the popular imagination."-Richard Norton Smith, author of On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller

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