Triumph and Tragedy: JFK and American Foreign Policy

  • Starts: 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 19, 2013
In the light of his martyrdom and the aura of his Camelot, a legend grew—though it prospered only briefly— that the international record of President John F. Kennedy was sturdy. He held fast over Berlin. He bravely accepted responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco. He showed his true mettle during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He won, for the world, a reprieve in the 1963 limited Test Ban Treaty. But against this line runs another argument centered on this reality: By November of 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, sixteen thousand U.S. military "advisors" were assigned to South Vietnam; nearly 500 American soldiers had been killed. Join us for the Discoveries Lecture Series’ "The 60’s: A Critical Retrospective", as David Mayers addresses these questions: How well does the Kennedy record hold when placed under close scrutiny? What is Kennedy's legacy? David Mayers holds a joint appointment in the College of Arts & Sciences’ History and Political Science departments. His primary area of teaching and research interest is the history of US foreign relations. His two most recent books are "Dissenting Voices in America’s Rise to Power" (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and "FDR’s Ambassadors and the Diplomacy of Crisis" (Cambridge University Press, 2013). His current research is centered on the international political system during the first decade after World War II. Discoveries, a series of dynamic learning opportunities for alumni and friends, features faculty experts from the College of Arts & Sciences and is brought to you by the Boston University Alumni Association.
Location:
Kenmore Classroom Building Auditorium, 565 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA

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