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The Kennedy Half-century


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An original and illuminating narrative revealing John F. Kennedy's lasting influence on America, by the acclaimed political analyst Larry J. Sabato.

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An original and illuminating narrative revealing John F. Kennedy's lasting influence on America, by the acclaimed political analyst Larry J. Sabato.

About the Author

Larry J. Sabato is the founder and director of the renowned Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. He has appeared on dozens of national television and radio programs, including 60 Minutes, Today, Hardball, and Nightline. He has coanchored the BBC's coverage of U.S. presidential returns and inaugurations, and has authored or edited more than a dozen books on American politics, including the highly praised A More Perfect Constitution-Why the Constitution Must Be Revised: Ideas to Inspire a New Generation. His other books include Feeding Frenzy, about press coverage of politicians; The Rise of Political Consultants; and Barack Obama and the New America. Sabato runs the acclaimed Crystal Ball website, which has the most comprehensive and accurate record of election analysis in the country. In 2001, the University of Virginia gave him its highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Enrollment is now open for a free JFK course online with Professor Sabato at


The Kennedy Half Century is a Master Class in discovering and evaluating John F. Kennedy as a man,a President and a game-changing figure in American life. The cultural change Kennedy brought to the nation is the real and original contribution Larry J. Sabato brings to the never-ending debates about the 35th President. Richard Reeves, author of PORTRAIT OF CAMELOT: A Thousand Days in the Kennedy White House In The Kennedy Half-Century, Larry Sabato not only sheds new light on the assassination, but, and more importantly, masterfully explains the enduring legacy of Kennedy and his 1000 days in office. John Grisham Larry Sabato has compiled a mountain of research that is sure to be the go-to reference on the assassination for years to come. He seems to have examined any and everything connected to Kennedy's death and brought new insight and understanding to that awful weekend when America lost its innocence. Bob Schieffer, CBS News After a hundred interviews with great and lowly figures, Sabato had pollsters measure the reactions, and used their data to deduce some provocative explanations of why JFK's legacy has loomed over his successors. American History Ambitious... Sabato is the most prominent political scientist of our age... a valuable contribution to the literature of the assassination. -- James Rosen National Review In The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, Sabato shows how Kennedy was transformed from a charismatic, if flawed, man into a mythological figure on the scale of Abraham Lincoln. Sabato goes far beyond Kennedy's presidency to explore how his legacy has affected every president since, particularly Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. Most important, Sabato relies on "cutting-edge audio technology" to debunk a key finding of a House committee in 1979 that an open microphone on a Dallas police officer's motorcycle picked up the sound of a fourth shot - suggesting the involvement of a second shooter. The Columbus Dispatch If you think you know everything about the Kennedy assassination, you haven't read Larry Sabato's book. I urge you to do so! Julian Bond The Kennedy Half-Century is full of new insights and revelations about a President whose tragic death left so many wondering, "What if?" This is a fascinating examination of the policies he put in place and how they influenced the nine Presidents who followed him into the oval office. Katie Couric ...a timely, well-documented, and measured view of our 35th president. Publishers Weekly A fascinating and thought-provoking analysis. Philadelphia Inquirer on A MORE PERFECT CONSTITUTION Some of Mr. Sabato's suggested amendments are quite sensible and, according to a poll he commissioned, quite popular...The obvious question is whether America's political system requires such radical surgery. Mr. Sabato would reply: That's for a constitutional convention to decide. Fair enough. The Wall Street Journal on A MORE PERFECT CONSTITUTION [Sabato's] lively, conversational tone and compelling examples make the reader a more than willing student for this updated civics lesson. The Hill on A MORE PERFECT CONSTITUTION

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