What goes into the making of a president? To what extent are the mind and character of the American commander in chief determined by his background, his family — and his education? This article represents a transcript of two lectures Nigel Hamilton presented in the spring and fall of 1989 at the Massachusetts State Archives. They were derived from the preliminary sketches for the author's full-scale biography of John F. Kennedy, to be published by Houghton Mifflin in 1992 on the anniversary of the birth of the thirty-fifth president.



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