Published by Harper, New York, 1959. Octavo volume with blue cloth binding and dust jacket. Handwritten inscription "To Gloria" and signed by Kennedy on the first free endpaper. A dried rose, possibly part of a bouquet given with the book, is still pressed between the pages. Book housed in a glass and wood case. Case height 11". Width 15". Depth 14".
Christie's, May 14, 1997, Lot #188.
Guernsey's, Artifacts and Documents Relating to the Life and Career of John F. Kennedy, March 18-19, 1998, Lot #188G
Profiles in Courage provides biographical sketches of eight United States Senators whom Kennedy believed had exhibited remarkable courage and integrity while under exorbitant pressure from their parties and constituents. Much of the book profiles senators who strived to delay or avoid the Civil War, despite the criticism and loss of popularity it yielded them. The book became a best seller and won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize.

Kennedy wrote it during his leave of absence from the Senate in 1954, when he was recovering from near-fatal back surgery. He had a long-standing interest in acts of political courage; his senior thesis at Harvard, later published as Why England Slept, described British political leader's failure of courage in countering opposition to rearmament, leaving the country vulnerable in the early years of World War II. Kennedy is said to have been inspired by the conflicting pressures he himself had faced as a Congressman and a Senator, and his experiences as commander of PT-109.

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August 3, 2018 10:00 AM EDT
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