Chris Matthews On John F. Kennedy: New Book Pulls Back Curtain On 'Ask Not' Speech, Nixon Debates And More
WASHINGTON -- A presidential call to service that inspired generations of Main Street Americans originated, ironically, in the privileged world of a New England prep school.
"Ask not what your country can do for you," President John F. Kennedy famously declared in his inaugural address of 1961. "Ask what you can do for your country."
In his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero," talk show host and author Chris Matthews presents new evidence that Kennedy had heard that language in chapel exhortations delivered by the headmaster of the Choate School in Connecticut when he was a student there in the 1930s.
Its elitist origins notwithstanding, Matthews writes, Kennedy's call moved millions of Americans to a sense of civic duty and an optimistic view of national mission, both of which seem missing in our own time. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- Stanford historian uncovers the dark roots of humanitarianism
- Historian hailed for offering a history of the culture wars
- Scholars to set the West straight about "Apocalyptic Hopes, Millennial Dreams and Global Jihad"
- Why Eugene Genovese’s 2 sentences about Vietnam went viral in 1965
- Historians named to the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences