Tag Archives: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours that Made History

TWO DAYS IN JUNE: John F. Kennedy and…



Two Days in June

 John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours that Made History  by Andrew Cohen.

In June 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been president of the United States for almost two and a half years.  That spring he is grappling with the two seismic forces of the early 1960s:  the proliferation of nuclear arms and the struggle for civil rights.  On two consecutive days, in two lyrical addresses, he appeals to Americans to see both the Russians and the “Negroes” as human beings.

His speech on June 10 leads to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the first arms control agreement of the Cold War. A day later, his next speech on June 11,  leads to the famous Civil Rights Act of 1964, a watershed in American history.  In lily-white, Cold War America, this kind of language is unprecedented, if not almost subversive.

Andrew Cohen, an award-winning journalist and bestselling author, evokes the writing of William Manchester and Theodore White as he presents a president pivoting dramatically and decisively on the two biggest issues of his time. Based largely on hours of unseen documentary film shot in the White House and the Justice Department on these two days, as well as fresh interviews and a rediscovered draft speech.  Two Days in June elegantly captures Kennedy at the high noon of his presidency in new, rich, granular detail.






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