The Kennedys in the World: How Jack, Bobby, and Ted Remade America’s Empire

Potomac. Mar. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781640123847. $36.95. BIOG
Journalist Haas, a former senior White House official and a current fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, revisits the familiar saga of the Kennedy brothers and examines their role in the making of U.S. foreign policy. His book begins with John F. Kennedy's political apprenticeship in the late 1940s and ends with Ted Kennedy’s death in 2009. He explains how both John and Robert Kennedy started their careers as Cold Warriors; John was critical of Eisenhower's policies, while Robert aligned himself with Joseph McCarthy's anti-communism views. As president, John focused on competition with the Soviet Union and was concerned about the international image of the United States. Haas discusses how John relied on Robert’s advice after the Bay of Pigs fiasco and regretted not appointing his brother as CIA director. After John's assassination, Robert tangled with Lyndon B. Johnson on various foreign policy decisions, especially sending troops to the Dominican Republic and the escalation in Vietnam. Ted also became more vocal and spoke eloquently in the Senate about the human costs of the war. The last section of the book focuses on his foreign policy priorities and achievements.
VERDICT This extensively researched and engaging book will appeal to anyone interested in post-war American history, foreign policy, and the Kennedy family.
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