BOOK REVIEW: Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy

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By Matthias Lai, Staff Editor

Politics in America today is a muddled mass of demagoguery and clashing ideals, where opposing parties would rather fight over the legitimacy of a Supreme Court Justice than pass effective bills that would benefit Americans of all races, religions and party affiliations.  It seems like there is no hope left for politics, but John F. Kennedy begs to differ.  His book, Profiles in Courage, is a Pulitzer Prize winning anthology of acts of political courage that define what it means to be a statesman in the American political system.  As we approach a tense election in an incredibly polarized nation, Kennedy’s book offers a much needed reprieve from the chaos of today’s politics, and gives historical insight to some of American history’s less known heroes.  Profiles in Courage is the result of months of dedicated research in the most prolific library in America, with case studies of demonstrations of nobility and character rarely seen in politics on any level.  The book tells the stories of Eight American Senators, spanning from the nation’s early days to the contentious civil war period all the way to the fallout of World War II.  A fun read, Profiles in Courage is not just a treatise for the avid politicist, but rather a gripping anthology revealing the best of humanity in the worst of times.  I recommend it for anyone who is even slightly intrigued by politics, and trust me, it’s not a hard read–I was able to understand it when I was a thumb-sucking 7th grader–so I think it’s worth a shot.  For me, it changed the way I see politics and it has given me hope for America’s future.  For you, the possibilities are endless.