The shocking assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 propelled the memory of the slain president to a revered status. Naturally enough, the public came to terms with the tragedy in Dallas by investing the chief executive's life with Lincolnesque significance--a moral importance transcending politics.
Traditionally, historians have accentuated either the positive "Camelot" or the negative "counter-Camelot" view of JFK. Measured appreciation became adulation and criticism evolved into vilification. Bringing together leading Kennedy scholars with a group of younger historians, Mark J. White demonstrates that both versions of JFK are unsatisfying caricatures, lacking subtlety and nuance. Using recently declassified documents, Kennedy examines many of the key issues surrounding the president's time in the White House: Vietnam, the Cuban missile crisis, the Berlin issue, the space race, relations with de Gaulle, and trade policy. Rejecting the idolatry and bitterness evident in so many previous works on JFK, the volume presents a compelling reappraisal of the Kennedy presidency.
"Despite this book's weighty topic, with its conversational writing style, Society Without God is amazingly readable, even fun. It presents rigorous arguments that are deceptively simple to understand, but that are, when you think about them more deeply, quite transformative."-PopMatters, "While never presuming to offer a strictly generalizable snapshot, by focusing his attention on what are "probably the least religious countries in the world" (2), his provocative and engagingly written book is very effective in helping readers to examine numerous assumptions concerning the place of religion in the modern world... The real strength of this book is that, by challenging widespread analytical assumptions, it presents us with more complexity and with more nuanced questions regarding the nexus of the religious and the secular in contemporary life. To quote a famous Dane on this very point, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." If, as Horatio should have done, we are to heed these words in terms of expanding the frameworks of our accordingly, it will be due in good measure to paying attention to thoughtful and creative books like this one. In my estimation, not to do so would be, well, a tragedy."-Sociology of Religion, -, "Society Without God" offers a unique perspective on the active debate regarding the necessity of religion . . . By turning to one of the most secular societies in the world, Scandanavia, Phil Zuckerman offers an empirically grounded account of a successful society where people are happy and content and help their neighbors without believing in God. The book is fluently written and highly illuminating. It offers an accessible entry to important questions in the study of religion and secularism."-Michael Pagis, Journal of the American Academy of Religion