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JFK: BETWIXT THE VALLEY & THE SKY

Jack: A Life Like No Other - Geoffrey Perret

"JACK: A Life Like No Other" is a fairly straightforward biography of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. The reader is taken through the various phases of JFK's life and career. It was a life fraught with many challenges and perils, highs and lows. Throughout his life, JFK suffered from a variety of illnesses (e.g. chronic back pain which became steadily worse over time, jaundice, scarlet fever, malaria, and Addison's Disease) than would have humbled a lesser person. Indeed, on 3 different occasions, JFK had been administered the final rites by the Catholic Church. And as if by a miracle, JFK not only survived but endured. "From an early age he had known something that few rich men's sons ever learn this side of serious illness: there is no wealth but life." 

While this was an easy book to read, there were some glaring errors in it that were enough for me to give it a lower grade than other books about President Kennedy I had enjoyed reading and valued for the knowledge they gave me about this singularly unique individual and statesman who had the capacity to inspire millions of people to their best efforts, and in the process, become better human beings. (Furthermore, the author's contention that President Kennedy's death was attributable to a single assassin - Lee Harvey Oswald - I don't agree with at all. Perret leaves the reader in the midst of that fatal motorcade in Dallas, TX, which the President and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy took center stage on November 22, 1963, summing up the book with a novelistic flourish that struck me as somewhat overwrought.)