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John F Kennedy is revered by many to be one of our nations finest presidents a man of upstanding character and sophistication who epitomized the moral and political principles Americans valued during his presidency and continue to value today However more recent exanimations of Kennedys life reveal that his striking public image does not match up with his personal lifestyle This contradiction in images is the topic of Thomas C Reeves book A Question of Character A Life of John F Kennedy In Reeves novel he seeks to correct common misconceptions about the former presidents personal life and moral convictions and to reveal the motives behind the Kennedy administrations actions by critically examining Kennedy and defining the key components of character successful presidents should possess Reeves book covers virtually all aspects of Kennedys life and is primarily organized chronologically While he does include details about Jacks early life and college years the majority of the book is spent discussing Kennedys political service including his senatorial position and his role as president Reeves also highlights the implications of such major events as Kennedys campaign for the presidency the Bay of Pigs invasion and Operation Mongoose the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kennedys involvement in Vietnam and Southeast Asia Issues of character are also broached by including details of Kennedys affairs with numerous women his involvement with mafia chief Sam Giancana and his initial reluctance to promote civil rights legislation despite promising to do so in speeches made during his presidential campaign Reeves begins his book by narrating the story of the first Kennedys arrival in America John F Kennedys paternal great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy He also explains the Kennedys rise to power through the works of Johns father in the banking industry during the 1920s A great deal of emphasis is placed on Johns father Joe at the beginning of the book because of the strong influence he has on Kennedys political aspirations Reeves claims Joe pressures his
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