Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav


Best Seller
JFK by Fredrik Logevall
Paperback $20.00
Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9780812987027

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (3) +
  • Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9780812987027

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780812997132

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 08, 2020 | ISBN 9780812997149

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from JFK

Product Details


“Other authors . . . have ably chronicled this epic saga, but none has told the tale of the thirty-fifth president’s formative years better or more thoroughly than the Harvard history professor Fredrik Logevall. . . . From all the carefully marshaled evidence a picture emerges of an uncommonly curious, sometimes frivolous but increasingly earnest young man on his way to shaping an informed, cleareyed, unsentimental sense of the world and his nation’s place in it.”—David M. Kennedy, The New York Tim­­­es Book Review
“As Fredrik Logevall shows in his superb JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956, Kennedy was a far deeper, worthier, more interesting character than the familiar revisionist cliche. . . . Logevall has a gifted historian’s grasp of the times as well as the life of JFK.”The Washington Post
“This volume … plows much of the Kennedy ground with such dexterity and such wisdom. Misty-eyed Kennedy acolytes of a certain age will read it and weep. Modern, less romantic readers will read it and reap the benefit of Logevall’s acuity.”The Boston Globe

“A superb book . . . [The] remarkable rivalries within the Kennedy family—propelled by valor, vanity and greed—form the backbone of volume one of Fredrik Logevall’s riveting life of JFK.”The Guardian
“As Fredrik Logevall points out in his utterly absorbing biography, the first of a projected two volumes, Kennedy deserves our attention not simply because he was a celebrity, but because his celebrity is a key to unlocking modern American history itself. . . .  JFK is biography at its very best.”The Spectator
“This is the first of two volumes by a Pulitzer-winning Harvard professor of the highest gifts, and the most compelling biography I have read in years.”—Max Hastings, The Sunday Times (UK)
“It is the singular achievement of this magnificent new biography of John Fitzgerald Kennedy that it has taken one of the most scrutinized lives of the twentieth century and made it feel fresh. Harvard historian Fredrik Logevall scrapes away the encrusted layers of myth, rumour and cliché; the result is a generous portrait of the young Kennedy, one that is attentive to his contradictions and weaknesses even as it seeks to understand what it was that made him so extraordinary.”The Telegraph
“An excellent book . . . Logevall has taken a familiar story and retold it in a way that is captivating and persuasive, as the tale of triumphant emergence from war and the tragedy of an immigrant family.”The Times (London)

“With impressive vision and flawless execution, Logevall bores down to a molecular level to put JFK’s life and achievements within the context of the history of the times, while simultaneously exposing the truths obscured by the most popular JFK misconceptions.”Booklist (starred review)

“An utterly incandescent study of one of the most consequential figures of the twentieth century . . . With JFK, Fredrik Logevall has reinvented the genre of presidential biography, casting new light on the man and, far more profoundly, on the times. This is a brisk, authoritative, and candid biography, and a wonderfully compelling history of America’s heady and troubled mid-century rise.”—Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States

“Our best historian of the Vietnam War now turns to another subject you thought you already knew, and he makes John F. Kennedy as alive and compelling as if you were reading about him for the first time. Fredrik Logevall portrays the young JFK with the masterful intimacy and sympathy that only a great scholar and writer could achieve.”—George Packer, author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America and Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century 

“John F. Kennedy was a man before he was a monument, and among the great achievements of this wonderful book is how brilliantly Fredrik Logevall conveys both JFK’s humanity and the history of the age. With precision and with grace, Logevall has given us a memorable portrait of a man and of the world that, before he shaped it, shaped him. It’s a powerful, provocative, and above all compelling book.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of America

“In this magisterial biography, Fredrik Logevall has deftly peeled away the many layers of myth surrounding John F. Kennedy to reveal a complex and surprisingly vulnerable human being. This first installment of his Kennedy biography is also the story of the rise of the United States to world power in a turbulent age. An essential read for anyone interested in the life and the times.”—Margaret MacMillan, author of War: How Conflict Shaped Us

“Fredrik Logevall’s brilliant biography rescues JFK from the myths that have long surrounded his early life without in any way obscuring the complexities of his character. There could be no more poignant reminder of what we were—far too soon—to lose.”—John Lewis Gaddis, Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Fredrik Logevall
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top