John F. Kennedy was not only a president, but also a symbol for America's most cherished ideas. In The Kennedy Obsession, John Hellmann takes a thoroughly original approach to understanding Kennedy's star power and his carefully crafted public image. Tracing Kennedy's self-creation as diligent scholar, bashful hero, and sensitive rebel-cued by cultural figures such as Lord Byron, Ernest Hemingway, and Cary Grant-and the images of Kennedy in the aftermath of his assassination, Hellmann reveals the painstaking transformation of private life into public persona, of a man into perhaps the major American myth of our time.
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Hellman, who teaches English at Ohio State--Lima, isn't out to strip away the mythic veneer to disclose all the failings underneath, but rather to show the evolution of those myths in the first place.Aug 18 1997 | Read Full Review of The Kennedy Obsession
may even have recognized a correspondence between the macho masquerade he himself performed to cover his `feminine' aspects and the homosexual actor's role."" (Oct.) FYI: Hellman notes that Jackie's White House restoration, ""offered a heightened version of the domestic role of the average housew...| Read Full Review of The Kennedy Obsession