I think that of all twentieth-century American presidents, John F. Kennedy is considered — by Europeans at least — to be the most Eurocentric in his sympathies and political orientation. In the days ahead we shall be reexamining the history of the Kennedy administration in relation to Europe, but before we do, I think it might help to know the true genesis of JFK's personal attitudes towards Europe, so that we may better understand his eventual role in the history of the early 1960s: culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis and his anti-Communist speech in Berlin in June 1963, as well as the Limited Test Ban treaty of the following month. As Mikhail Gorbachev recently remarked when addressing faculty and students at Harvard University, it was hard even for a Russian Communist in the early 1960s not to warm to the image of John F. Kennedy, to admire his social conscience, his idealism, and his youthful charisma.



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