Go Advanced Search

Learn More About
Find More Titles by
This Author: Thurston Clarke
This Narrator: Edward Herrmann
This Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Ask Not by Thurston Clarke

Ask Not

The Inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the Speech That Changed America

by Thurston Clarke

Title Details

Abridged Edition
Running Time
5 Hrs. 44 Min.
User Rating
  3.0  Stars Based on 2 ratings
Share This


A close-up on one of American history's most splendid events, JFK's inaugural week, and the creation of the speech that inspired a generation and brought hope to a nation.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." On the January morning when John F. Kennedy assumed the presidency and stood to speak those words, America was divided. Citizens around the world were torn by fears of war. Kennedy's speech, called the finest since Lincoln at Gettysburg, the most memorable of any 20th-century American politician, did more than reassure: it changed lives, marking the start of a brief, optimistic era of struggle against "tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself".

Ask Not is a beautifully detailed account of the week leading up to the inaugural which stands as one of the most moving spectacles in the history of American politics. At the heart of the narrative is Kennedy's quest to create a speech that would distill American dreams and empower a new generation. Clarke's portrait of JFK during what intimates called his happiest days is balanced, revealing the president at his most dazzlingly charismatic (and cunningly pragmatic). As the snow gradually covers Washington in a blanket of white, as statesmen and celebrities arrive for candle-lit festivities, Kennedy, an obsessed perfectionist, pushes himself, his family, and advisors to the limit to create greatness, to find the words which captured what he most truly believed and, as it happened, which far outlasted his own life.

For all who seek to understand the fascination with all things Kennedy, the answer is here. Ask Not explains the phenomenon to the heart and mind.

People Who Liked Ask Not Also Liked These Titles:
  How to Build an Android
by David F. Dufty

  Getting Ready
by Bernie Siegel

  What Technology Wants
by Kevin Kelly

Reviews & Ratings
User Reviews         Rate this title  

More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: A013780
Available On
Audio CD