Friday, November 22, 2013

Quote of the Day (Simon Schama, on the ‘Merry Mind’ of JFK)

“[John F.} Kennedy knew better than to hide his wiry Irish mop beneath a titfer. It was the crest, the crown, the brand. Everything about him was calculated to give the impression of an almost casual ease beneath the weight of power: the splashing around on Cape Cod; the kid daughter romping through the Oval Office, the droll wit which came as naturally to him as his habitual satyrism. Of the acute physical pain, the relentless drug treatments, the hospital visits, Addison’s disease, spastic colitis we knew nothing. Horsing around with the brothers and the children on the Massachusetts beach, he was President Fine Fettle, rough-house glamour with the bonus of brains. When we looked around at our own [U.K.] politicians we saw pipes, tweeds, the brandy snifter or the mug of tea. So of course we took his murder personally, angry at being robbed of the merry mind; a big chunk of the future blown away in the Dallas motorcade.”—Simon Schama, “Signed With Honour” (review of The Letters of John F. Kennedy, edited by Martin W. Sandler), Financial Times, November 16, 2013

No comments: