In the first session of the series, Fredrik Logevall, in conversation with Graham Allison, will delve into his deeply researched, critically acclaimed biography on a true practitioner of applied history, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956  (Random House).

All HKS affiliates are welcome to attend; register using the RSVP link above.

Fredrik Logevall is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Professor of History, Harvard University.


Random House on JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956:

“Fredrik Logevall has spent much of the last decade searching for the 'real' JFK. The result of this prodigious effort is a sweeping two-volume biography that properly contextualizes Kennedy amidst the roiling American Century. This volume spans the first thirty-nine years of JFK’s life—from birth through his decision to run for president—to reveal his early relationships, his formative experiences during World War II, his ideas, his writings, his political aspirations. In examining these pre–White House years, Logevall shows us a more serious, independently minded Kennedy than we’ve previously known, whose distinct international sensibility would prepare him to enter national politics at a critical moment in modern U.S. history.”


Praise for JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956:

“An utterly incandescent study of one of the most consequential figures of the twentieth century. With JFK, Fredrik Logevall has reinvented the genre of presidential biography, casting new light on the man and, far more profoundly, on the times. This is a brisk, authoritative, and candid biography, and a wonderfully compelling history of America’s heady and troubled mid-century rise.”—Jill Lepore, author of These Truths: A History of the United States

“There has been a host of JFK biographies, but this one excels for its narrative drive, fine judgments and meticulous research, especially about money, women and the subject’s early writings.”—Max Hastings, The Sunday Times

“None has told the tale of the 35th president’s formative years better or more thoroughly than the Harvard history professor Fredrik Logevall in JFK, the first of two projected volumes. Here he brings the story up through Kennedy’s failed bid for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1956, setting the stage for his elevation to the presidency four years later.”—David M. Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review