The Kennedy administration’s support for withdrawing from Vietnam, abandoned in the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination, is an ambiguous and heavily-debated moment in American political history. Did Kennedy himself author this plan? What did he stand to gain politically from such a maneuver, and what was his personal stance on the matter? After careful study of secret White House tapes, historian Marc Selverstone offers a new perspective on the matter in his new work, The Kennedy Withdrawal. Combining skilled analysis with historical insight, Selverstone reveals hidden depths to the Kennedy administration’s strategies and cabinet dynamics. Selverstone will be in conversation with journalist Charles Trueheart.
About the speakers:
Marc Selverstone is an American historian. He leads the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where he is Associate Professor of Presidential Studies. Selverstone’s 2009 work Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945-1950 was awarded the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
Charles Trueheart is a contributing editor at the American Scholar. He is a former Washington Post correspondent and director of the American Library in Paris. His book about Vietnam in the early 1960s, Two Gentlemen in Saigon, will appear next year.
Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (Selverstone and Trueheart will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.
This event requires advance registration.