Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero
By Chris Matthews
Simon & Shuster, 2011, 479 pages, $27.50.CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The recent revelation by a woman who may have had an 18-month "affair" with John F. Kennedy has possibly increased interest in the life of this young president who was assassinated in 1963.
So, she speaks of events of a half-century ago, and some controversy may surround her statements. In any case, the allegations remind us that other biographers have touched on the alleged sexual adventures of this president. It has been fairly established that he sometimes neglected his wife Jackie, and that he had extramarital involvements with more than one woman.
Now comes Chris Matthews with his review of Kennedy's life. Can he add anything to the discussion?
Matthews is a popular television commentator on MSNBC's Hardball. He is articulate, opinionated, intelligent and biased. His bias is toward the Democratic side, and his analysis is very critical of those to the right of him politically. His style is to question people who are on either side of the political picture, and who hold strong views.
I like him. His wit and acerbic manner may make me uncomfortable at times, but an old Dem such as I can appreciate his positions. In his book he reminds the readers that he once was a strong Republican.
That being said, I am not uncritical of Matthews' approaches. Sometimes the bones of his opinions show almost too much. He is a pundit. He is a curmudgeon. When he is right, he is very, very right, but when he is wrong, he can be horrid.