Joh F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles In Courage is not an in-depth historical text, true, and it should not be read that way. If any reader was and is expecting to find fascinating, long biographies of the eight men in this book, then they should alter their expectations. Rather, readers should use these profiles as a precursor to major biographies that are fatter and thicker with more detail.Whether Kennedy or his speechwriter wrote this book is irrevelent to me, but what he did when he wrote this book was to narrow it down to a very slim margin of what courage is. What is it? How do people -- especially people in politics -- get courage? What circumstance or circumstances in their lives imbued that very important characteristic into their belief system when serving the public at large? What Kennedy does is explore those key moments in the lives of these men that could have been responsible for the attainment of that trait. Kennedy's style of writing is gripping, immediate and has colorful tints of personality to it. For a quick and accurate historical/biographical fix, Profiles in Couage does the job quite nicely.
This work ranks as a first-rate political commentary on the courageous positions taken by a select group of Americans. The author cites a number of famous and not so famous Americans . i.e. John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster and Edmund Ross. I was impressed by the character of Edmund Ross in making a very principled choice in the impeachment proceedings of President Andrew Johnson. Ross transcended considerable past disagreements … more