A new book, Two Days in June, calls attention to the JFK’s supremely important and still relevant speech at American University on June 10, 1963, in which he asked Americans to rethink ‘peace.’
“First, he said, no one should think peace is ‘impossible’ or ‘unreal,’ which he called ‘a dangerous, defeatist belief’ that leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable. As machines, systems, and the cult of efficiency became entrenched, as modern life became complicated, this lament for modern man was a theme of American culture, especially in art, literature and theatre. For Kennedy, who had ended his Inaugural Address by declaring that ‘on Earth God’s work must truly be our own,’ this kind of fatalism, this feeling of powerlessness, was self-destructive. It was another way to think, as too many did on world peace, that we are all passengers on a ship of doom, that we cannot change the destination or chart a different course.”
via Andrew Cohen: In 1963 JFK did something startling — he asked Americans to rethink ‘peace’ | National Post.
1 thought on “Andrew Cohen’s new book highlights two key JFK speeches”
I think Cohen’s book and the American University speech were given a bit of the short shrift in your “explanatory encapsulation”. Certainly the American University speech, while enthusiastically embraced by many Americans, caused many on the right hand side of the road to quiver with rage and horror. Perhaps a more “inviting review” of “Two Days in June” would produce the response that this topic deserves.