“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
John F. Kennedy
The coronavirus has set many of us back on our heels. As if in the blink of an eye, life has changed. We look to authorities and leaders for comfort. Now is the time to look to the past to understand the future. Humanity has confronted extraordinarily tough times before and humanity has come out on top.
We shall prevail. Have no doubt. Yet, to prevail, we must have a plan. However, on a national level, plans are meaningless unless we have leaders who are reflective, resolute and can sublimate their base urges in favor of We the People.
History can be a powerful guide in helping us craft plans. History can also serve as a useful guide in understanding current leaders, by comparing them to past leaders. To use history as a guide though, we must study history.
Not too long before the coronavirus pandemic hit, we had an opportunity to CYInterview an extraordinary writer regarding his latest offering. The writer, Jesse Kornbluth was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and New York Magazine. He was an editor at America Online and has authored books previously. We spoke with him about his book, JFK and Mary Meyer: A Love Story, which was published at the end of January.
Mr. Kornbluth’s book is like a delectable chocolate tart offered in an exclusive restaurant. It is small, dense and filled with premium ingredients. You are compelled to eat it quickly and spend time afterward contemplating how delicious it was. And you want more.
JFK and Mary Meyer: A Love Story is an engaging read. Told by way of Mary Meyer’s fictionalized diary – which Mr. Kornbluth has painstakingly constructed by way of scholarly research and deft imagination – it is at once a love story and a privileged look into a lofty realm. This is a book that can do the near impossible by turning history into a guilty pleasure.
Read this book at least twice. First, read it as a diary and zip through it. Then read it again and carefully review the footnotes, to gain deeper historical insight.
This is a CYInterview that bears listening to. And JFK and Mary Meyer: A Love Story is a book that must be read.
You can listen to the entire CYInterview below: