Summer Reading for Teachers and Older Teens

Download this bibliography as a PDF.

Topic: President Kennedy, his Family, and his Presidency

Books about John F. Kennedy (General)

Dallek, Robert. An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963. New York: Back Bay Books, 2003.

Reeves, Richard. Profile of Power. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Smith, Stephen Kennedy and Douglas Brinkley. JFK: A Vision for America. New York: Harper Collins, 2017.

Sorenson, Theodore. Kennedy. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1965.

Sorenson, Theodore. Let the Word Go Forth: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy, 1947–1963. (Reprint ed.) New York: Laurel, 1991.

Books about John F. Kennedy and the PT-109

Donovan, Robert J. PT 109: John F. Kennedy in World War II. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.

Doyle, William.  PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy. New York: William Morrow, 2015. 

Books about John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline B. Kennedy

Kennedy, Jacqueline. Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, Interviews with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., New York: Hyperion, 2011.

Books about The Kennedy Presidency

Bernstein, Irving. Promises Kept: John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Kenney, Charles. The Presidential Portfolio: History as Told Through the Collection of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. New York: PublicAffairs, 2000.

Widmer, Ted, editor. Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy. New York: Hyperion, 2012.

Books by John F. Kennedy

Kennedy, John F. A Nation of Immigrants. New York: Harper Perennial, 1964.

Kennedy, John F. Profiles in Courage. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.

Kennedy, John F. Why England Slept. New York: Wilfred Funk: Inc., 1940.

Topic: Civil Rights

Bibliography from Online Interactive Exhibit:  1963: The Struggle for Civil Rights
Resources on the civil rights movement throughout the 20th century

Aydin, Andrew, and Lewis, John. March: Book 1. Marietta, GA: Topshelf Productions, 2013.

Aydin, Andrew, and Lewis, John. March: Book 2. Marietta, GA: Topshelf Productions, 2015.

Aydin, Andrew, and Lewis, John. March: Book 3. Marietta, GA: Topshelf Productions, 2016.

Boyle, Sarah Patton. The Desegregated Heart: a Virginian’s stand in time of transition. New York: William Morrow and Co., 1962.

Branch, Taylor. At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

Branch, Taylor. The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.

Branch, Taylor. Parting The Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.

Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998.

Farmer, James. Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Arbor House, 1985.

Finkelstein, Norman H. Heeding the Call: Jewish Voices in America’s Civil Rights StrugglePhiladelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1997.

Halberstam, David. The Children. New York: Random House, 1988.

Hampton, Henry and Steve Fayer. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1960s. New York: Bantam Books, 1990.

Haskins, James. Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1997.

Haskins, James. The March on Washington. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.

Kasher, Steven. The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, 1954-68. New York: Abbeville Press, 1996.

Lewis, John. (with Michael D'Orso) Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Civil Rights Movement. Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998.

McWhorter, Diane. A Dream of Freedom: the civil rights movement from 1954 to 1968. New York: Scholastic, 2004.

Wofford, Harris. Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992.

Williams, Juan with the Eyes on the Prize Production Team. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. New York: Viking Penguin Inc., 1987.

Topic: The Cold War (General)

Hershberg, Jim.Cold War International History Project Bulletin”. Introduction to “A Typical Pragmatist”: The Soviet Embassy Profiles John F. Kennedy, 1960. Cold War International Fall 1994, 64-67. The bulletin is available online .

Hill, Kenneth L. Cold War Chronology: Soviet-American Relations, 1945-1991. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1993.

Sachs, Jeffrey D. To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace. New York: Random House, 2013

Topic: Cuban Missile Crisis

Bredhoff, Stacey. To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Washington, DC.: The Foundation of the National Archives, 2012.

Blight, James G., Bruce J. Allyn, and David A. Welch. Cuba on the Brink: Castro, the Missile Crisis and the Soviet Collapse. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993.

Blight, James G., and David A. Welch. On the Brink: Americans and Soviets Reexamine the Cuban Missile Crisis. New York: Noonday, 1990.

Blight, James G. and Phillip Brenner. Sad and Luminous Days: Cuba’s Struggle with the Superpowers after the Missile Crisis. Lanham, MD ; Oxford : Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

Dobbs, Michael. One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. New York: Knopf Publishers, 2010.

Frankel, Max.  High Noon in the Cold War: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  New York: Ballantine Books, 2004.

Fursenko, Aleksandr and Timothy Naftali. “One Hell of a Gamble”: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

Kornbluh, Peter, Editor.  Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba. New York: The New Press, 1998.

May, Ernest R. and Philip D. Zelikow, Editors. The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1997.

Stern, Sheldon.The Week the World Stood Still: Inside the Secret Cuban Missile Crisis. Stanford, CA : Stanford Univ. Press, 2007.

Topic: Space Exploration

Brinkley, Douglas. American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2019.

Thompson, Neal. Light this Candle: The Life and Times of Alan Shepard, America's First Spaceman. New York: Crown Publishers, 2004.

We Seven: By the Astronauts Themselves. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962.

Topic: JFK’s Inaugural Address

Clarke, Thurston. Ask Not: The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech that Changed America. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.

Tofel, Richard J. Sounding the Trumpet: The Making of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher, 2005.

Topic: JFK and Ireland

Carroll, James Robert. One of Ourselves: John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Ireland. Bennington, VT: Images from the Past Inc., 2003

Tubridy, Ryan. JFK in Ireland: Four Days in Ireland that Changed a President. Cork, Republic of Ireland: Collins, 2010.

Topic: Book Conversations from Kennedy Library Forums

The Kennedy Library Forum series features leaders in the world of public affairs, arts and culture, and history and politics. View livestreamed events or visit our website for past forums including video footage and a transcript for the books talks listed below.

Carter, Ash. Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership at the Pentagon. New York: Dutton, 2019.   View video of the 11/18/19 forum.

Brinkley, Douglas. American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2019. View video of  the 4/4/19 forum.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Leadership in Turbulent Times. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2018. View video of forum: View video of the 11/7/18 forum.  

Jones, Doug. (Douglas G. Jones) Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2019. View video and read the transcript of the 11/3/19 forum.  

McNamara, Eileen. Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018. View video of the 4/3/18 forum.

Schieffer, Bob with H. Andrew Schwartz. Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, 2017. View video of the 5/1/18 forum.

Schlossberg, Tatiana. Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2019. 11/12/19 View video of the 11/12/19 forum.

Online Resources

John F. Kennedy Biography
Read a brief biography published on our website.

Jacqueline B. Kennedy Biography
Read a brief biography published on our website.

Kennedy Family Biographies
Read brief biographies published on our website.

JFK in History (by topic)
Explore topical essays ranging from the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to Space Exploration and the Peace Corps.

John F. Kennedy Quotations (by topic)
Explore a selected list of quotations by John F. Kennedy, arranged alphabetically by topic.

Historic Speeches of John F. Kennedy
Read some of John F. Kennedy’s most famous speeches. Several have been translated into twelve languages.

Poetry and Power: The Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy
This web page includes information about the inauguration and links to the speech (audio and video) and a slide show of documents.

Online Interactive Exhibit: 1963: The Struggle for Civil Rights
An interactive online exhibit on the civil rights movement and the Kennedy Administration during one of the most turbulent years in the struggle for equal rights, leading to JFK’s landmark address on civil rights in which he called it “a moral issue.” More than 230 primary sources including video, photographs, and documents bring the story of this pivotal year to life.

Online Interactive Exhibit: The Integration of Ole Miss
In the fall of 1962, the college town of Oxford, Mississippi, erupted in violence. James Meredith, an African American student, attempted to register at the all-white University of Mississippi known as "Ole Miss." Witness the events first-hand through the actual letters, recorded telephone conversations, and images of those who made history.

Online Exhibit: The World on the Brink: John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Read formerly classified documents and listen in on secretly recorded ExComm meetings as President Kennedy and his advisors seek a peaceful resolution for the removal of Soviet intercontinental missiles from Cuba.