A balanced, well-written account by a prolific historian of the modern presidency. His narrative is enlivened by good use of oral history interviews. Parmet admires Kennedy as "a moderate conservative and a rational idealist," but the book is far from flattering. This is a companion to Parmet's earlier book about Kennedy's youth, Jack: The Struggles of John F. Kennedy. Highly recommended for those who ask what book(s) on the subject they should read first.