Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John F. Kennedy: Presentation Copy of his 1940 Book Why England Slept, Given to his Mother Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. JFK's first published work was actually his Harvard senior thesis, published at the urging of his father Joseph P. Kennedy. Young Kennedy dedicated the book "To my Mother and Father," and this specially bound copy with Rose Kennedy's name embossed in gold on the cover was JFK's gift to her.

    The book seems to show the influence of his father, who was U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain in the late 1930s. The senior Kennedy had been a supporter of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in what has since come to be considered a policy of appeasement of Adolph Hitler and Germany's fast-rising industrial and military might. Young Jack's work seems to support his father's position, in the midst of a rising tide of feeling, spurred on by Winston Churchill, to the effect that England had irresponsibly looked the other way as Hitler gained the strength to plunge Europe into war.

    This important presentation copy was offered as part of the 1995 Sotheby's auction of items from the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, where it hammered for $46,000. It has been housed in an elegant Asprey clamshell case. The book itself shows light wear at the corners and along the edges of the spine, but is in very good overall condition.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Books & Catalogs (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,149

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 August 18 Americana & Political - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $327,896