Friday, October 25, 2013
JFK's Last Hundred Days by Thurston Clarke (audio)
JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President
by Thurston Clarke
Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner
Penguin Audio, 2013
14 hours and 48 minutes
source: review copy from publisher
Motivation: a long-standing fascination with the Kennedy family
One sentence summary (from goodreads):
A revelatory, minute-by-minute account of JFK’s last hundred days that asks what might have been.
Where were you on 11/22/63? If you're over fifty, chances are you have both an answer and a story to go with it. As we approach the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, they are bound to be shared. Historians, too, are re-examining many aspects of that tragic time and, naturally, we're seeing a long list of new Kennedy books being published.
What makes Clarke's book both different and effective is its structure. He begins with Day 100 in August 1963 and moves forward through the fall counting down the days, chronicling Kennedy's activities, meetings, and personal life. The reader cannot help but feel an increasing sense of dread as the days tick away and the end approaches.
The book was fascinating and presents Kennedy in a very favorable light. One can't help but wonder what if...
A note on the audio production:
This was the first time I've listened to Malcolm Hillgartner and he was excellent. With a wide variety of accents, his voice lends itself very well to nonfiction. In fact, I'm currently listening to another of his narrations (The Patriarch by David Nasaw).
As usual with nonfiction audiobooks, you'll want to visit your library or bookstore to look at the photos Clarke has included with the text.