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June 02, 2004


R. Leibold


I would avail myself the opportunity to read Manchester's "Portrait of a President," and "The Death of a President," if I were you. (The second book sold over 1,250,000 copies in its first year.) I would also dive right into Manchester's MacArthur book, his wrenching memoir ("Goodbye, Darkness"), and his blockbuster, "The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968." If you fail to read any of these, then you'll never truly know William Manchester.


Thanks for the input! One of these days I will read some of the others. As for the Kennedy books, it may just have to be that I never read them. It's not Manchester, but more along the lines of a media problem. I am sick to death of hearing about Kennedy's of any kind. Since the media continues to take any opportunity to recite chapter and verse of the Kennedy mantra with the least provocation... I've decided to duck out on anything Kennedy whenever the opportunity provides.


You know, Teresa, I wholeheartedly agree with you on Kennedy media overkill: For too many years I've heard more than I need to know about the 'pomp and circumstance' of the "era of Camelot," and I've just about had it up to my eyeballs with the stuff.

But do you know why I read Manchester's Kennedy books? Because I'm trying to get to the heart of who William Manchester was, and not John Kennedy. Manchester, for me, is one of the most compelling people I've ever read about, and I can't help but wonder: Did Kennedy even once realize just how ingenious was his former WWII Marine confidante?

After reading nearly all his books--I've owned most all of them at one time or another, though friends and family keep 'borrowing' them, and never returning them--I've arrived at two conclusions: Either Manchester's the humblest genius I've ever heard of, or he's the most intriguing wallflower.

He's kept company for more than five decades with innumerable of the world's most influential human beings, and never have I heard a touch of scandal about the man (with the exception of 1964 rumors suggesting that he was Jackie Kennedy's 'true love' in the wake of the JFK assassination).

The world lost a true giant in William Manchester, and the tragedy of his recent death is compounded by the fact that it has virtually been 'buried' by the death of our 40th chief executive.

I deeply respected Mr. Reagan, but I absolutely loved William Manchester. It will take years before I recover from the hard truth that he's gone, and with him, the possibility of his own third and final Churchill.


Robert - that's something I hadn't really considered, reading the book to get to know the author better. I shall have to consider it. But I do know what you mean about the third Churchill book. I have a feeling that reading the combined efforts of the 2 authors is going to make me cringe! Ah well. At least we had the others, for that I am very thankful!

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