John F. Kennedy and Dean Acheson: JFK's Signed Personal Copy of Acheson's Book Power and Diplomacy, with Extensive Notations in Kennedy's Hand. Possibly one of the most significant books in JFK's library, as the notations make it clear that Kennedy was giving careful consideration to Acheson's points as he wrestled with the question of how to best deal with the Soviet Union during the most dangerous era of the Cold War.

    In addition to highlighting and notations on a number of pages (all pictured with our web site lot description), Kennedy wrote the following on the back of the flyleaf:

    "Problem of President
    By world force
    (??): leadership came
    The American people tend to follow a
    Course of action in their individual
    And public actions will make
    It possible us to (??)
    the Russian Competition."

    One interesting insight is to be found on page 122, where Acheson discusses at length a 1957 Senate speech by an unnamed Senator, apparently JFK, regarding the fate of the eastern European nations. Acheson paraphrases this Senator as saying that "the true objective was to gain for these nations freedom from WESTERN imperialism" (emphasis added). A doubtless indignant JFK wrote in the margin, "I did not."

    The consignor purchased this important volume in the 1995 Sotheby's sale of items from the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, where it sold for $24,150. We cannot help but express surprise that such an illuminating artifact went to auction rather than to the Kennedy Library, but we are pleased to have the opportunity 20 years later to offer it again to interested collectors and institutions. All pages with JFK's notations are included with our website description of this lot.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    7th Saturday
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