JFK The Stained-Glass Image

As with Lincoln, assassination lifted John F. Kennedy to a beatified myth, in large part because of the guidelines set for books about him.

In mid-November, 1963, according to all major best-seller lists, the most popular nonfiction publication in America was a book that portrayed Jack Kennedy as “immature,” “arrogant,” “snobbish,” “glib,” “slick,” “calculating,” “hard as nails,” “mealymouthed,” “opportunistic,” “Machiavellian,” “intellectually shallow,” “spiritually rootless,” “morally pusillanimous,” “passionless,” “vain,” “shifty-eyed,” and, for every good reason, nicknamed “Jack the Knife.” The book, of course, was J.F.K.: The Man and the Myth, by Victor Lasky.