Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy Summary

The critically acclaimed, New York Timesbestselling biography of John F. Kennedy, by Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball.

“What was he like?”

Jack Kennedy said the reason people read biography is to answer that basic question. What was he like, this man whose own wife called him “that elusive, unforgettable man?” In this New York Timesbestselling biography, Chris Matthews answers that question with the verve of a novelist. We see this most beloved president in the company of friends. We see and feel him close-up, having fun and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his life from privileged, rebellious youth to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in war and selfless rescue of his PT boat crew. We watch JFK as a young politician learning to play hardball and watch him grow into the leader who averts a nuclear war. Matthews’s extraordinary biography is based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, oral histories by top political aide Kenneth O’Donnell and others, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas. As Matthews writes: “I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.”

“Filled with the vitality and spirit that made Jack Kennedy such a magical figure. Chris Matthews shows the cunning and determination beneath that magic. It’s an awesome and delightful book.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs

Book Reviews


Awesome5 star

Love love love this book!!! Very detailed almost like you're there with him!!55

Bill Mercer

Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero5 star

I thoroughly enjoyed this book in much the same way I would a narrative about a hero in any field that greatly interests me. It is obviously not the intent to delve into deep analysis but to assume the reader has rudimentary knowledge of the events of JFK's incredible journey as it carries one through the life of this tragic, yet beguiling and very extraordinary person. Matthews has an obvious affection for JFK...and he feeds those of us like kind brethren with facts that don't spend too much time in the friction of analysis. This is a very readable and enjoyable book, shared by an obvious scholar of the subject, in a way that it lends itself as much as a gift as anything else. Thank you sir.55

Emmet Aloysius

Enjoyable and Informative4 star

Good book on JFK! Easy to follow and understand in plain language but you still get a complete story without too much annoying detail. Informative without being overtaxing. Recommended for JFK and history fans alike. EAF45

bluesman 007

Jack Kennedy1 star

Unfortunately Mathews' take on Kennedy is nothing new here. No real intrinsic insights nor revealing new material, but simply a restatement of past reportage that is both anecdotal and unforgivingly patronizing. Mathews' journey for objectivity takes many turns - none of them leads to a satisfying destination.15

Son of Jude

Jack Kennedy:Elusive Hero5 star

A complex, remarkable, inspirational, larger than life individual has his story told in a simple manner. Thanks Chris Matthew for your fine work on a great leader the likes of which has yet to be found.55

The OD Guy

Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero5 star

Another yeoman-like effort from my favorite TV commentator. His voice is clear and so utterly Chris Matthews. From the first page to the acknowledgements, his inimitable personality rings through. A great read.55

Coach TM

JFK4 star

If you have never read about jfk's life, like me, this is a good book to get a good overview of his life. Easy read.45


What a great book!5 star

No more need be said. I have believed in 2 Presidents, Jack Kennedy and Barack Obama. I never thought I would believe in another like Jack Kennedy. I feel lucky at this late age to have found another President I can believe in and consider myself just lucky to have another chance to believe in a President.55


Jack Kennedy5 star

Great book about a great president. Very moving.55


Jack Kennedy5 star

As one who felt that the "little wooden desks" offered scant protection, this book truly speaks to me. An fascinating slice of history; a watershed moment; an unforgettable man.55

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