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Jfk Extension History Essay

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JFK Essay

“History is concerned with neither the past by itself nor with the historian’s thoughts about it by itself, but the two in mutual relations. All history is the history of thought.”

Discuss the validity of Collingwood’s view on history, in reference to your case study.

The past and the way the historian is able to interpret the past is the true nature of history. Collingwood’s view on history has merit, as it is the combination of the two that constitutes history. This is extremely evident in the variety of interpretations that have emerged through the study of President John F. Kennedy. Three particular historians, Theodore Sorenson, Seymour Hersh and Michael O’Brien, all construct ‘unique’ accounts of JFK’s Presidency particularly in his relations with Khrushchev (1961-1963) and his management of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 to become solid examples of the importance of the historian in creating the history. All search for ‘the truth’ about Kennedy, using a variety of methodologies to come to different conclusions about his presidency. Context is also key in evaluating the both the historian and his work as it is reflected through his aims and purposes. Without a thorough examination of the historian, the history cannot be understood. The historian thus becomes the third element of the construction of history.

Theodore Sorenson’s 1965 work, Kennedy argues a consensus view of history, attempting to “glorify” his place within America History. As a close advisor and friend of JFK, his emotional attachment to his subject is undeniable, revealing subjectivity within his work. Sorenson presents a hagiographic view of Kennedy in a cold-war context that called for a preservation of the American image as the great superpower and one must question the degree to which this colours his perspective.

Sorenson relies on “what I know rather that what...

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