Monday, February 11, 2008

Journal #13B - 40 different ways to look at JFK

After reading and listening to the different views of President Kennedy's life as seen through different biographers' eyes, it's time for your opinion/assessment.

John Kennedy's biographers are usually broken into two groups: one group works to reinforce the image of Kennedy as icon, as the ideal president. They tend to gloss over the difficult stuff in his life with the idea that it's not important to know that kind of info about him. These biographers also stress his good qualities and downplay his bad qualities.

The second group of biographers are iconoclasts; they are trying to poke holes in the JFK myth by finding evidence to refute many of the cherished (and false) stories about the Kennedy family, clan, and presidency. These biographers are like realist authors - they give you the gritty details of a person's life; the fact that this person was the president doesn't seem to phase them.

The American people have consistently voted JFK (along with Lincoln) as their greatest American President, yet historians have given him the title "Most Overrated" in American Heritage magazine. When looking at his Congressional record, he didn't do much. Almost the same thing can be said for his Presidential record; how significant were the Peace Corps and the race to the moon in the long run?

Your job: answer the following questions:
1. Share your assessment of the man and his job as president by looking back at your notes on the 8 sections of the book. Explain your reasoning with specific examples.
2. Where should biographers draw the line on their subjects? How much is too much and how little is too little?It really boils down to what the main job of a biographer is.

250 words minimum. -Due Wednesday - 2/13/08

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page - Great link to a tribute website to a JFK archivist, Mary Ferrell.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

1.) My assessment of JFK as a man and as a President is that he got what he wanted most of the time. The fact that his father was rich and could back him up if he needed it. Like when he was trying to get into the Navy and he failed the medical tests his father got him a second chance. He also seemed like he lied alot about himself. For one he kept that he was soo ill from almost everyone excet for his family. But he also lied about his academic oredentials, lied about V.N., came up with ideas for his book but didnt actually write it, and he exaggerated his school records. He also seemed like when he was president that he would come up with really good ideas but he wouldent always fallow through with them. But he did help blacks get hire government jobs by letting them into meetings and he pushed for immediate desegregation. He had a string stance on civil rights. but those are just a few things that i think are really good about him.
2.) I think that biographers need to draw the line when they seem to be getting to into a person life, like will that person they are incading have any privacy but then again the person they are revealing dont have to talk. But i think that Biographers need to dig up more stuff on what s really going on about our U.S. government dicisions, some we dont need to know for sercret issues but like something that will really change or effect the U.S. as in what the presidents next step is going to be for a new plan.

Alexandra Moceri
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

1. I think that overall John F. Kennedy was a good man and a good president. Although the book had so many bad things to say about him, I believe that there are bad things to say about everyone, especially presidents. Some of the good things about Kennedy are the following. He had a graceful manner and good sense of humor. He wrote a book that won the Pulizer Prize. He got along like best friends with his wife. Politically, Kennedy also did some great things. Kennedy chose people of outstanding accomplishments to be in his cabinet. He paralleled with what America wanted in a President. HE won numerous awards before and during his Presidency. By freeing King from jail he gained black support, as well as pushing for desegregation. What he would have done with the war in Vietnam is debatable, many thinks he would have pulled out and many think he would have acted similar to Johnson. In general I think that John F. Kennedy was good and should have the status of an American icon.

2. I think that there definitely is a line where biographers should not cross. Biographers should not publish facts that they do not have sufficient evidence for. By doing displaying possible false facts, other rumors could begin. This is unfair to a person like JFK. Some of the things that are bad about JFK should be made public because people have the right to know the truth, but not unless these things are completely true. The main goal of biographers is to give information about a person. They should not make certain observations about a person, because that could ruin their reputation. Basically, biographers should tell things that they know for sure about a person.

Jeremy Kaplan
3rd Hour
2/11/08

Anonymous said...

Blog #15 B
40 Ways to Look at JFK

1. Share your assessment of the man and his job as president by looking back at your notes on the 8 sections of the book. Explain your reasoning with specific examples.

JFK was undoubtedly one of America’s most interesting leaders, but not necessarily great in terms of accomplishments. Kennedy was famous for his numerous accolades, such as, a Nobel Peace prize during his term as President, a Pulitzer prize for a book he wrote, as well as a ‘Most Eligible Bachelor’ award during his time as a minor politician. He had a knack for womanizing due to his ‘Legendary Sex Appeal’, amid his constant pain under NUMEROUS internal afflictions. He could have been anything with his abilities, but President is a step too far.

As a leader, Kennedy faltered on many fronts. Many would agree that they saw vast potential in the young man to lead, but little showed through. During Kennedy’s action towards support of the Civil Rights movement, he stood up for a cause whose, foundations, goals, even motives, were unclear to him, which dropped his approval rating to 57%; nobody would listen to him. It gets worse; during the quagmire that was Vietnam, he had lost his train of thought entirely and was trapped on the indecisive line between pulling out or staying in… it didn’t matter, we LOST anyway. In addition, he didn’t even have a college education. In summation, unfit to lead, he can do ANYTHING else, but he could never be a successful president.

2. Where should biographers draw the line on their subjects? How much is too much
and how little is too little? It really boils down to what the main job of a biographer is.

I think the very definition of a biographer is an author that goes beyond the conventional limits. The motive of the biographer who wrote 40 Ways to Look at JFK was to show us EVERY side of the story, both good and bad. Just enough of both too remain neutral and impartial.

- Alex Lindsay
- 3rd hour

Anonymous said...

1) JFK as a president could be one of the best, but there was no in-between he could have been the worst or the best. He was in one of the toughest spots ever as president going to the edge of nuclear war. My assessment is he handled it as best as any president could. For one there was no nuclear war. Two the Soviet Union eventually did collapse. The 2 major things of his short term in office were handled. All those little things that people say mean nothing, like the Peace Corps or the man on the moon. Are not what half as important as what he did to save the world from near destruction.
Then there is the fact that he was a player. That played a huge roll in everything. Take away his good looks and he would lose his improve rating, then take away the fact that he cheated like no other come election time to get more votes, shows that he lacked the quality’s of a great president. Then there are the lies about his college education, and he cheated on his wife shows that he was not the greatest president, and honest Abe was better. Though these qualities should not count against him as president, they do count against him as a man. Thus making JFK one of the top presidents, but not the greatest man. And that’s what the biographers and journalists should all look at.

2) Biographers don’t have any limits because that’s the whole point of the biographer. To get the WHOLE story not half or only the good parts. Biographers shouldn’t draw a line on their subjects. One because it’s boring just to read a one sided story, and two it’s not the true story. There is a too little point, that’s when there is parts missing of the story, or the story is completely one sided.


Mostafa Bendali-Amor
3rd 2/12/07

Anonymous said...

Kennedy was a good person if you count what he actually did and look through his lies. But that is if you want to look through them… Kennedy did lie about many things and was one of the most dishonest presidents we’ve have, even though some of those lies were better if withheld from the public. Some of his lies hardly affected the public at all. Some of these lies were the ones he told his wife about his “other women”, and others were about his health. These were kept secret from the public so that they did not start to disapprove of the other things he did as president. I thought what he stood for as president though was very right. Even though he was not completely open about it, he was for civil rights. When you have a white person of power who was willing to support blacks, it meant a lot, because they could loose almost all support from other whites at the time.
Personally I hate bias opinions when they are formally set out by someone with a big name. When a book is written, or a speech is given, I think it should be strictly fact and not soften anything or exaggerate anything. When someone writes a Biography, I think they can go as far as they want saying how bad or good somebody is, but they better go that far the other way. When you lean one way or another when writing a book, it is almost like you yourself are lying, which would defeat the whole purpose of the book if you were trying to say Kennedy was bad because he lied.

Patrick MacCallum

Anonymous said...

1. My assessment of John F. Kennedy as a president is that he was a mischevious man. He only told the public and his family what he wanted them to know, and the rest, was a secret. Kennedy had his strengths and his weaknesses. His weaknesses were all his medical conditions. Kennedy had several medical issues, just to mention a few.. he hurt his back, had cancer (lukemia), scarlet fever, stomach problems, osteoporosis, addison's disease, measels, mumps, whopping cough, asthma, and severe allergies. Kennedy failed to tell the public about all of his medical issues, yet he told his family. Kennedy lied about many things. He lied about his academic crudentials. He would only attend a semester at a college, and say that he graduated from that college. He lied to advisors and the public about VN. He came up with ideas for a book, but never actually wrote the book. He over exaggerated his school records. He had affairs with women, while married to his wife (Jackie). He would leave Jackie to go to places with these women. He didn't care too much about Jackie and never cared how she felt about all of the cheating. Jackie and Jack had a son named Patrick, but he died at birth. Jack and Jackie got married shortly after they met, and Jack claimed that he loved only Jackie and no one else, yet he cheated on her. On the better side of Kennedy, he won black support, and got King freed from jail during 1960 campaign. His strong stance pushed for immediate desegregation; invited blacks to meetings and press confrences. On the other hand, Kennedy, he didn't understand the Civil Rights. In his first two years he didn't do any major Civil Rights initatives.

2. I think that biographers are too controversial. Biographers try to influence the reader, to think the worst or sometimes the best of this person. Biographers sometimes are revealing very personal secrets, that aren't supposed to be viewed by the public or they are making up the stuff; they just want to make a good story. When these biographers are trying to wheel the readers in to keep reading, they give false accusations, because it makes the biography more juicy and more controversial or personal. America is full of noisy people who want to know all the dirty dark secrets of famous people in our U.S's history. If anyone can find out anything that hasn't been said, then it spices up the story and makes people convinced and therefore they will assume all of the things mentioned in the biography. The issue with biography's is that most of the people that have a biography written about them are dead, like in JFK's place. So since those people are dead, they cannot back up the statements made in the biography, and therefore there is no proof that the writter of the biography is writting false things.
I think that biographers, need to tell the person's life how it really went, and need to not get so personal. Not everyone needs to know everything detail about JFK.

Mary Mc Keon
hour 3

Anonymous said...

1. I think that Kennedy was a good man and president during his lifetime. Even though he did mess up sometimes I still think that he was a good man because everybody messes up. But when he messed up everyone knew about it because he the president of the United States. For example he won lots of awards and did things to better the White House. For example he put people in his administration that had outstanding accomplishment. He also had a good sense of humor which made people wan to listen to him. Even though him and his wife went through problems they stuck through it even though he cheated on her. He acted like best friends with her and came closer to her when their son died. He also supported civil rights he did things to get black support and supported things that black people did. He also moved out of a Ken. Hotel b/c they refused to give a black reporter a room. He even went thorough his presidency with all of the bad health problems that he had like hid bad back and his stomach illnesses which is hard to do. Even though he lied about things like his academic credentials, he did it to get somewhere with his life. This why I think JFK was a good man and president.
2. Biographers should draw the line when talking about people’s personal issues like his love life and stuff like that, that is personal to him and his family. Too much is talking about their wives and their kids and personal stuff that hits home. Too little is just when they say things without enough detail to the fact.
BRANDON MILLER
3rd hour
2/12/08

Anonymous said...

Michael Weiner
2/11/08
3rd hour
Overall I think JFK was a president who got what he wanted because he was seen as this great president. Even before he was a president, his dad, with a lot of money got him a second chance at entering the military because he was paid in after failing physical examination. Then stories were made up that he saved 2 of his crew members when his ship was split in half. With his bad back, I think he was just fighting for his own life. We now know that he was hiding many illnesses from the public and even Jackie for a short time. The book he wrote wasn’t written by him, he was too sick to have written it. Going to a collage for one semester doesn’t count as graduating from that collage. He was indecisive, he confided or implied to some people he was planning on pulling out. To others, he said the opposite. Telling people what they wanted to hear?

I think that there is a line where a biographer should NOT cross; however, I think my line is a bit farther down the road than most. I think the public should have access to a president’s life via book. Only when it can hurt family members of the president who are still alive should the biographer stop. If authors don’t know the facts are 100% true they should not be published. It’s like the telephone game. One myth turns into another and the result is bad.

Anonymous said...

1. Personally I think that JFK was a good president, however he had some bad points to him that make him look morally wrong. I think he was a good president because of his ability to keep his cool after the Bay of Pigs and Berlin Wall incident. He also was able to negotiate an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I also liked him because he was young and he had a good humor about him. He paralleled what America wanted in their President and he did a good job representing America. His stance on civil rights and his fight for desegregation made me like him because he was one of the first to fight as a President. He even got King freed from jail during a 1960 campaign. The things about JFK that I didn’t like were that he didn’t marry Jackie for love. He married her because he didn’t want to appear to be gay. I also didn’t like him for his adultery; however Jackie acted in a somewhat similar fashion so I can’t pin all the blame on him. All in all I think he was a good icon for American history, and you can’t just call him one of the best Presidents ever for nothing!
2. I think that each biographer have their own goals and their own limits. I think that both shouldn’t write all negative things about their subject to a point where they totally ignore all the good points. If the main job of the biographer is to enforce the iconic figure then they shouldn’t sugar coat their subject too much because then you don’t get the full story, and they are making this person more into a superhero figure than a real person. If the main job of the biographer is to enforce the negatives of the figure then they should continue to do that while recognizing the person’s good qualities.

Barbara Moore
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

1. Overall I believe that John F. Kennedy was a good president. Although there are so many bad things that are talked about him, he does have a lot of good qualities. For example, even though he lied about his health, he also had a good sense of humor and got along with all his best friends. I also believe that if he didn’t get shot, then his decisions about the war with Vietnam would have been good and the right thing to do. Many people thought that he would have pulled out of Vietnam and many think that he would have acted similar to Johnson. Overall I believe that President was not only a good president, but also a good man.
2. I believe that the line to cross for the biographers is questionable. In one case, people want to know about their own leader. Also if more people did know then this could have saved his life, by not of getting shot. On the other hand biographers have to know how far to go. Publishing personal facts could hurt the reputation of him. Also false fact could be made without having evidence. The line to cross could be at different places for many people so I would suggest that the biographers would only give facts that they are sure of.

Ron Wexler
3rd hour
2/12/08

Anonymous said...

I believe John F. Kennedy represented the ultimate All-American boy. He had many awards to his name, a seemingly perfect family, a dip in military experience, and good looks to top it off. JFK portrayed the perfect, flawless American man, which probably suited the public very well. Having an icon like Kennedy as a president let it seem as though America could do no wrong. He represented a perfect America, even if he was hiding secrets. Even his tragic, untimely death suited him well. Nothing could have placed JFK so deep in America’s heart like being assassinated. As far as what actions he actually did take as president, he seems to be a bit reserved. He did keep the country from a nuclear attack by Cuba, and also helped to encourage the Civil Rights movement, but that is about as helpful as Kennedy ever became. He had mixed emotions on whether or not to pull the troops out of Vietnam, and wasn’t very attached to the Civil Rights movement. In all, I think Kennedy did a good job of steering away from World War III with the Soviet Union, but could have been more assertive on his stance of the war in Vietnam.
I don’t believe that neither I, nor anyone else has the right to tell biographers where to draw the line. It would be unconstitutional to tell biographers they can’t publish what they have found. People can decide for themselves whether or not they want to read a biography. If people really don’t want to hear the negatives on someone, they can just go read a different book. Since no one is forcing people to read biographies, writers should be able to write whatever they please, as long as it is truthful.

Leslie Preston

Anonymous said...

I don't think that JFK should be considered one of best presidents that we ever had. I don't think that he wasn't in Lincolns league. It's not the fact that I didn't think JFK was capable of doing what Lincoln did. But he only had 3 years in office were as Lincoln had 5 years. Lincoln kept the U.S from separating during the war, however JFK had kept America past and through the Cold War. JFK was a president to me, was just a president that could relate to the public and the public responded back with love towards him and his persona. I honestly don't think as a stand point view from the congress that JFK didn't accomplish that many. He was a great Public figure however because he was considered to be an eligible bachelor. I think personally that the biographers should of pulled back some punches. THey revealed some confidential facts that makes you ask your self if they love JFK, then why reveal to the public things that he kept secret from us?

Collin Parson
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

1. Many people think otherwise but I think that JRK is one of America's realest leaders. He was a man just like the reat of the people who live in the US and could relate to them. He was a mans man. Many presidents I find to be very fake and phony that are just in it for the perks not to really give the people wht they want and make the country a better place. I belive JFK wanted his job to really help the country and listen to the people more than past presidents like a democracy should be ran. Many people look at the bad in his life but if you b honest with youself we all have something bad about us that if people tried to find as hard as they tried for JFK you could find something. I also think that many of his illnesses were over exaggerated. Many of the thing that they notted everyone has had.

2. I do not think that there is a line that biographers should not cross because tis their job to do what they do. If someone is going to write a book about someone else they should have all the facts about the persons life not just the things that people want to hear. The part that makes me mad is when people get mad at biographers for telling the truth. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth. The only line that they should not pass is when a story becomes a lie and they do not tell the truth. The should keep all the facts justified and not controversial. They can not bend the truth at all this should be kept the truth and nothing but the truth.


Chris Elliott
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

Ben Goddard

1. I think that the JFK as a man was that he seemed nice on the outside, but he wasn’t the greatest person people seem to think he is on the inside. He was disloyal to his wife by having many different affairs during their relationship. He also had many illnesses that contributed to his bad situation. He had a terrible back and he also had many common ailments as a young child that he seemed to always be in the hospital for different reasons. He always hid his sicknesses from the public so that people wouldn’t think that they had a crippled man as a president. As a president though, I think that he was a very good one. He seemed to almost always make good decisions for the country, like not having the Us Air Force support the trained people from other countries during their attacks on Cuba. He also seemed to know what he was doing and was still a somewhat good family man.


2. I think that biographers should draw the line on their subjects when they hit something that could be too touchy of a subject for the American people. Citizens don’t want to know things that would make them think that they were being led by a bad person for president that could make them think that maybe the person did things that may have harmed the country instead of just helping it. Also, they shouldn’t reveal really personal things in a person’s life that could also put them down.

Anonymous said...

1. I believe that John F. Kennedy was one of our most shocking president’s, he was a great president and was what every American would think of when they dreamed of a president, war hero, sex appeal (of course) legendary, won the Pulitzer prize, and rich. Also, Kennedy did more than just the space race during his Presidency; he also worked on the bay of pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, and building the Berlin Wall. Another thing he went through a lot of pain in his life and covered it very well, this made America look strong and didn’t look like we had some president that was crippled.

2. I believe reporters should only go as far as what the person does for a living. For example: if they focused on only Britney spears music then her life wouldn’t be getting screwed up. Honestly, who cares about what Britney spears just bought at the grocery store? They should really worry about what her new songs are or something. Obviously some people actually do care about that. These days reporters take it way to far. I believe that the little guys following people around with cameras taking pictures of them are ridiculous. Let them live their life. If they are writing life biographies on them then they should either pick one of these two focuses on the details of their life. Or focus on what they did for their occupation and how well they did it. Personally I would rather read about their occupation.

Pat Rooney

Anonymous said...

1. I think that John F. Kennedy was a good president while he served his term. He met his future wife at a dinner party in 1951. Her name was Jacqueline Bouvier, she was born July 28, 1929. The two got married two years later on Sep. 12, 1953. Kennedy supported the blacks and trying to get segregation out of schools and others public facilities. Kennedy won the blacks support and got Martin Luther King out of jail during his 1960 campaign. His approval rating went down 57%. The Vietnam war was still going on when he was running for his second term as president. He could either pull out or stay in. If he decided to pull out it would be like deciding to let communist take over. If he supported staying in then he could control the spread of the communist rule in North Vietnam. He expanded the number of advisors from 600 to 16,200. He also began convert operations against North Vietnam.

2. Biographers should be able to draw the line where ever they want as long as it doesn't hurt or disgrace someone’s name. The biographers of John F. Kennedy should be able to talk about his presidency and stuff like. If they start to make fun of his health and how he shouldn't have became president that is kind of drawing the line too far. If biographers don't say enough about someone and they only talk about their bad side then people who didn't know him will think he was a bad person when he really wasn't. Same way if they talk about only his good side, they will think he is the greatest president ever.

Ryan Feist
3rd hour

Gabe D said...

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not a great president but a good one. He had some good merits like his serving in World War II and the Pulitzer Prize, which to date is the only president ever to win. He was also the youngest man ever to be elected as president at the age of 44. He also won some important medals like the Purple Heart award and the Navy and Marine Corps medal. JFK was an honor Alma mater Harvard College. He also attended Stanford for a little while, but really only went to college for one semester. He applied to the navy but did not pass the medical test to serve, but his father Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. bought him into the navy, by persuasion with money. He had deadly illnesses ever since he was a child, but he grew up in a wealthy family they were able to afford his medical needs. He hid his medical problems from the country when he was president. He even kept his medical health from some of his own family. Kennedy had some bad marital problems with his wife Jackie Kennedy. He had a problem with spending money behind his back, and JFK has numerous affairs when Jackie was away on a trip. I think the media went too far into his personal issues. Things that we shouldn’t know. I strongly think that it was an invasion of privacy when the published the stories eventually he died not from medical reasons, but assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald executed Kennedy with a sniper rifle at a parade. He fired two shots, the first one punctured his neck, and the second hit him in the head killing him. His legacy still runs strong today.

Anonymous said...

JFK, like many people had their good and bad qualities. He seemed like a good president, even though I cannot vouch for his greatness because he was not president during my time. I think he made some good decisions for America’s government, for example when he manipulated Khrushchev with the missiles and in the Vietnam War, it ending the cold war. I think that he made some bad presidential and moral decisions as well. I think that he handled the civil rights very well and the situation with Martin Luther King. He took a very big chance with his presidency “sticking up” for African Americans, was his way of trying to get them to vote for him. This decision won him his presidency. He did do some bad things morally; he lied and cheated in more than one instance. He lied about his health a lot, to his family and his staff. He consistently had affairs with other women, he lied about his health so he could get into the army and he lied about the amount of schooling he had during his youth. He also took advantage of his father’s social status and economic wealth. He used his father’s money to get him in the military. His participation in the military basically earned him part of his presidency, because many people could relate to a man who had been through similar experiences as themselves.
I think there should be a line drawn for what biographers can and cannot write about. I think that they should write separate books about a man’s presidency and his personal life. If they want to write about both, they should be written in separate books to ensure that a personal act is not influencing the thought of a government act. I definitely think that the author’s opinions should be kept out of the text of the biography, because whenever the reader reads the information, what they have read usually influences their final beliefs on the person that the book is about.

Megan K. 3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

1. My assessment of John F. Kennedy as a president is that he was a mischevious man. He only told the public and his family what he wanted them to know, and the rest, was a secret. Kennedy had his strengths and his weaknesses. His weaknesses were all his medical conditions. Kennedy had several medical issues, just to mention a few.. he hurt his back, had cancer (lukemia), scarlet fever, stomach problems, osteoporosis, addison's disease, measels, mumps, whopping cough, asthma, and severe allergies. Kennedy failed to tell the public about all of his medical issues, yet he told his family. Kennedy lied about many things. He lied about his academic crudentials. He would only attend a semester at a college, and say that he graduated from that college. He lied to advisors and the public about VN. He came up with ideas for a book, but never actually wrote the book. He over exaggerated his school records. He had affairs with women, while married to his wife (Jackie). He would leave Jackie to go to places with these women. He didn't care too much about Jackie and never cared how she felt about all of the cheating. Jackie and Jack had a son named Patrick, but he died at birth. Jack and Jackie got married shortly after they met, and Jack claimed that he loved only Jackie and no one else, yet he cheated on her. On the better side of Kennedy, he won black support, and got King freed from jail during 1960 campaign. His strong stance pushed for immediate desegregation; invited blacks to meetings and press confrences. On the other hand, Kennedy, he didn't understand the Civil Rights. In his first two years he didn't do any major Civil Rights initatives.

2. I think that biographers are too controversial. Biographers try to influence the reader, to think the worst or sometimes the best of this person. Biographers sometimes are revealing very personal secrets, that aren't supposed to be viewed by the public or they are making up the stuff; they just want to make a good story. When these biographers are trying to wheel the readers in to keep reading, they give false accusations, because it makes the biography more juicy and more controversial or personal. America is full of noisy people who want to know all the dirty dark secrets of famous people in our U.S's history. If anyone can find out anything that hasn't been said, then it spices up the story and makes people convinced and therefore they will assume all of the things mentioned in the biography. The issue with biography's is that most of the people that have a biography written about them are dead, like in JFK's place. So since those people are dead, they cannot back up the statements made in the biography, and therefore there is no proof that the writter of the biography is writting false things. I think that biographers, need to tell the person's life how it really went, and need to not get so personal. Not everyone needs to know everything detail about JFK. Mary M.

Anonymous said...

1. My assessment of John F. Kennedy is that he was shady. I guess I will never know really know him because he died before I was born. What I do know about him was that he was very sick. He told very few people how sick he actually was. He was also a cheater and in more ways than one. The first example was when he tried to get into the Navy and he did not pass the physical test. He got his very rich Dad to get him a second chance to pass the test. The second way that John F. Kennedy was a cheater was he cheated multiple times on his wife.

2. I think that biographers should draw the line on their subjects before they even start. If people wanted other people to know about themselves then they would write an autobiography. My Mom always says, "If you have nothing nice to say then just don't say it at all." People should not be digging into other people's personal lives and then writing to the rest of the world about it. I guess a lot of people have things that would not want to be exposed to the entire country or even the rest of the world. If I put myself in John F. Kennedy's shoes, I would never want a biography written about myself because there would be a lot of great things but also a lot of flaws. John F. Kennedy obviously did not want people knowing about how sick he was. People might have treated him differently.

Lauren Peterson
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

1. Kennedy as a president causes speculation in my head. In some aspects I see him as a good president in terms of receiving many awards, his strive for excellence, his want to pull out of Vietnam after being elected, and I just felt bad for him after having all those illnesses. Although, his rocky marriage with Jackie O., the constant decrease in approval rating after taking a stance on civil rights, not exactly handling the civil rights movement in the best ways all add to the turmoil that makes Kennedy seem like an unreliable leader. In a noble way, Kennedy not wanting to leave Vietnam without a victory seems like a tactic that would have America rooting for him, but to be a president, you must have a good reputation to the people in the media, the people who see you every day. Kennedy had so many problems in terms of his love affairs, health issues, etc. that maybe didn't qualify him to be the most suitable president.
2. If a biographer sets out to learn and gather all the information they can about a subject, then honestly who has the right to tell them they can't? if you're not willing to divulge all the information that goes hand in hand with the subject, then don't reveal a single word. Biographers only have the intentions of sparking an interest in readers with their subject, by giving out the facts and truth that oen may not read about in tabloids. Nothing crosses the boundary of too much or too little. Both the subject, people related to the subject, and the biogrpgher know what they are getting into when starting a project like that, so don't become involved if not willing to give the dirty secrets.
Julia Henning
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

1) I think that JFK was a decent president. Although he helped our nation quite a bit, he still lied on numerous occasions, most of which were very important for the public to have knowledge of…let alone his wife. He was very concerned with the black people and really did help them out quite a bit, most people let it be at this appropriate act. What most of them didn’t know was that he consistently lied about his health and things such as, past schoolwork, Vietnam, and he even thought up ideas for his biography that were to be used just for the purpose of making his life seem more interesting and so that he could get a better appearance as a good man.

2) The appropriate line for biographers to draw would vary. If it were about something in his past that was either a lie or some coincidence of tragedy, I would have to say that if they were to start exposing more than the truth and insulting his/her family. If the subject was a decent or great thing I would have to say the only precaution would have to be not to keep on the same subject for too long or to expand the truth to make it sound more interesting and exciting. I really think that there should be much more concern with the darker worse side of the truth. If people really expose JFK’s lies, it could lead to his family becoming disgraced or embarrassed. I personally hate biographies..but I guess that’s kind of expected of a high school student.

Dylan Scher
3rd Hour