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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "The Manchester Book" (1967) Summary & Analysis

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Although William Manchester's The Death of a President suffers from mangled prose?the result of pressures from the Kennedy family to write their version of events?it is nevertheless a "compelling" story of the rise and death of our 35th president, according to Vidal. Having been stung by a professor hired to write a campaign biography of John Kennedy in 1960 because of its portrayal of Joe Kennedy's anti-Semitism and the candidate's wavering liberal loyalties, the Kennedys wanted to make sure this biography would present Camelot as the mythic realm the family wished.

Manchester's "starry-eyed" love for the Kennedys blazes on every page, while his portrayal of President Johnson is tepid because the Kennedys did not want to create a rift in the Democratic Party in 1967 that might prevent another Kennedy from ascending to the White House, Vidal says. It was...

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This section contains 290 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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