John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address Criticism

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According to Theodore O. Windt Jr. in American Orators of the Twentieth Century, Kennedy's January 20, 1961, speech is "one of the few truly memorable Inaugural Addresses in U.S. history." Its elegant lyricism, its power, and its idealism called Americans to action and inspired real change. In Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America, Thurston Clarke mentions the great writers, thinkers, and admirers who later revealed how touched and impressed they were by the speech. He quotes James Reston's New York Times editorial the day after the inauguration:

The evangelical and transcendental spirit of America has not been better expressed since Woodrow Wilson and maybe not even since Ralph Waldo Emerson…. For, like all true expression of the American ideal, this was a revolutionary document.

Eleanor Roosevelt sent Kennedy a handwritten note that read, "I think 'gratitude' best describes the...

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This section contains 881 words
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Buy the John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address Study Guide
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