John F. Kennedy : world leader
- Stephen G. Rabe.
- Washington, D.C. : Potomac Books, c2010.
- 1st ed.
Where to find it
President John F. Kennedy remains a subject of fascination for both historians and citizens. Consistently ranked among the most popular U.S. presidents, Kennedy led the country during a time of rapid social change at home punctuated by critical foreign policy crises, among them the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba, the showdown with the Soviet Union over the erection of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban missile crisis, and the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam.
As Stephen G. Rabe explains in this introduction to American foreign policy at the height of the Cold War, Kennedy perceived himself as a foreign policy president. Time and again, the president used the threat of force, good diplomacy, and sound judgment to keep the world from falling into the abyss of nuclear war. But Kennedy did more than manage foreign policy crises. He launched major economic development programs for Latin America, India, and Egypt and dispatched Peace Corps volunteers around the world. He attempted to mediate the Arab-Israeli dispute and to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to China and Israel. Under Kennedy, the United States began for the first time to develop a policy for Africa.
Taking a fresh look at Kennedy's wide-ranging efforts to change the world, Rabe devotes chapters to U.S. relations with the Soviet Union, Cuba, Latin America, and Vietnam. The author also evaluates Kennedy's approach to India, China, Egypt, and Israel and such African nations as Algeria, Angola, and South Africa. Rabe concludes by exploring whether Kennedy was contemplating a new approach toward the Soviet Union, one that, had Kennedy lived to see reelection, might have soon ushered in the era of détente.
Chronology -- John F. Kennedy in history -- Background, beliefs, people -- Soviet Union -- Cuba -- Latin America -- Vietnam -- Asia -- Middle East and Africa -- John F. Kennedy : the future versus the past -- Appendix of documents: John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, January 20, 1961 -- President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev debate the fate of Berlin at the Vienna Summit, June 4, 1961 -- President Kennedy urges citizens to prepare for nuclear war, July 25, 1961 -- President Kennedy exerts command over U.S. nuclear forces, October 20, 1961 -- President-elect Kennedy receives advice from President Eisenhower on Cuba, January 19, 1961 -- Attorney General Robert Kennedy is briefed on CIA contacts with organized crime in plots against Fidel Castro, May 14, 1962 -- President Kennedy explains his decision not to launch an air strike against Cuba, October 22, 1962 -- Higher authority (President Kennedy) approves a sabotage program against Cuba, June 19, 1963 -- President Kennedy debates the issue of communist influence in Latin America with the president of Mexico, June 29, 1962 -- President Kennedy expresses reservations about expanding the U.S. role in South Vietnam, November 15, 1961 -- The Kennedy administration initiates the process of overthrowing President Ngo Dien Diem of South Vietnam, August 24, 1963 -- President Kennedy offers conflicting views on the U.S. role in South Vietnam, September 2 and 9, 1963 -- President Kennedy promises to protect Taiwan's seat on the Security Council at the United Nations, October 16, 1961 -- President Kennedy seeks Soviet cooperation to prevent China from developing nuclear weapons, July 15, 1963 -- President Kennedy's commencement address at American University, June 10, 1963 -- President Kennedy ties civil rights legislation to international affairs, June 11, 1963 -- President Kennedy's undelivered remarks at the Trade Mart in Dallas, November 22, 1963.