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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: Essays for the Presidency

The Presidency and the Peace

U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. JFK Library and Museum

It is with some sense of temerity that a member of the White House staff undertakes to comment on the large topic of the Presidency and the Peace. Loyalty and affection are so normal in such service that detachment is difficult. Nevertheless the importance of the topic and the enforced familiarity of close experience with the Presidential task may justify a set of comments whose underlying motive is to express a conviction that is as obvious as the daylight, in general, and as fresh as every sunrise, in particular: a conviction that the American Presidency, for better, not for worse, has now become the world's best hope of preventing the unexampled catastrophe of general nuclear war.

Moreover, both charity and sorrow can be good lenses for perception, and it may therefore be possible to consider the subject without impropriety by focussing upon the years of John F. Kennedy. The tragedy

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