Friday, March 9, 2012

Bromance? Man Crush?

"Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero" by Chris Matthews Simon and Schuster 479 pages $27.50

Matthews, in a lengthy Preface (13 pages) tries to justify his writing this book by stating that his family and he as he grew up were staunch Republicans. But when JFK entered onto the stage, Matthews found him irresistible.

Another song played endlessly on his serenade to JFK was "Oh, poor Jack, poor lonely little boy! All those illnesses, all those hours spent alone with only a book to amuse him." This refrain to explain why JFK absolutely hated being alone. Len Billingsly, Red Fay -- any one of his court jesters would do.

JFK's physical courage was never in question as he tried out for football and starred in the original production of "PT 109." He managed to continue vigorously in life despite a very bad back and Addison's disease.

Incidentally, there was absolutely no mention of the infamous "Dr. Feelgood," Max Jacobs in the index nor the book. JFK took Jacobs to Paris with him. Given JFK's extreme poor health, the author, who mentions it at every turn, never explained how he was the biggest skirt chaser in Washington, DC, and points north, south, east and west.

The problem for me with this book is the awe-struck attitude to JFK. He refers to him as Mrs. Kennedy did - "Magic." No argument that JFK was extremely charismatic -- but not for 479 pages.

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