The Truth and Consequences Podcast with Fred Logevall as we discuss his new biography of John F. Kennedy, "JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956


I had not initially planned to do a podcast as a regular feature on Truth and Consequences, instead preferring to do Q&As with published transcripts. But this week, with so much going on, I decided it would be easier to just put out the audio from this fascinating discussion.

For this inaugural podcast I am honored to have been joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fred Logevall to discuss his latest book, “JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956.” The book is the first of a two volume biography that he is writing on the life of Kennedy.

This first volume tracks Kennedy’s life from birth in 1917 to his decision to run for president in 1956. It’s a wonderful read and one that provides a historical context for understanding Kennedy’s personal, ideological, and political evolution while also telling the story of America’s rise to becoming a great world power.

In our conversation we touched on Kennedy’s childhood; his remarkable self-confidence, even at a young age; whether the patriarch of the Kennedy clan, Joe Kennedy Sr. was a good father; Kennedy’s innate political skills; how JFK is often misread as a Cold War hawk; and the pitfalls of writing a biography on someone you either don’t like or like too much.

Hope you enjoy it!