No issue is more hotly debated than how, or even if, a politician's private life affects his public competence. InA Question of CharacterJohn F. Kennedy's two lives—public and private—are examined to answer this timely question. Respected historian and biographer Thomas C. Reeves reveals discrepancies between JFK's public persona, which has reached mythic proportions, and his scandalous private behavior. Most illuminating is the constant theme or Joe Kennedy's almost total control of JFK's behavior and politics throughout most of his son's career. "The John Kennedy who emerges from these pages was not a man of good moral character. He was reared not to be good but to win." —Los Angeles Times Reeves has provided the most truthful and balanced assessment of John F. Kennedy to date. Written more in sorrow than in anger,A Question of Characterexplores the sensitive and difficult question of how people, and history itself, ought to judge the relationship between personal character and national leadership.
Kennedy comes across as a man dominated by his father, Joe. A man more interested in the gaining and holding of power than with any clear idea as to how to use it. He was sympathetic to black rights movements, but more concerned with balancing the votes from southern bigots and northern liberals, than in dealing with the problem. His greatest moment came, just months before his death, when Russia threatened to put nuclear missiles in to Cuba. It took a man with the cold iron will of Kennedy to stand up to the threat.
This book is authoritatively written and includes many references to back up its claims. It is not a spiteful destruction of the man, simply a quelling of the popular 'superman' myth. The subject is Kennedy, the man and the President and his high profile death is hardly referred to, this is already the subject of many conspiracy theory books.
Unfortunately, I believe this to be a true representation of John F. Kennedy.