They are supposed to be eloquent and pleasing to the ear. Kennedy's Inaugural Address was certainly a well-crafted speech stylistically,and that alone may account for some of its fame.
At the same time, however, I will assess the address as an example ofhard-line cold war rhetoric that reduced global politics to an apocalypticbattle between democracy and communism--indeed, between good and evil--discursivefeatures that Kennedy inherited from the country's earliest cold warriors.
Aclose reading of the Kennedy inaugural and an analysis of its legacy inAmerican politics will foster greater understanding of the intersectionsbetween U.S.
The Soviets had launched Sputnik, and their leader, Nikita Khrushchev, hadthreatened to "bury" the United States. In hisInaugural Address, Kennedy would announce the start of a new era in Americanpolitics, one in which Americans could look forward with optimism andconfidence despite all these challenges.
Kennedy: The life of the 35th President John F.
In his acceptance speech at theDemocratic National Convention, Kennedy had spoken of the "new frontier ofthe 1960s." His task in his Inaugural Address,then, was to explain what that "new frontier" might entail and tounite the nation behind his new, more aggressive approach to cold war politics.
Kennedy's Inaugural Address is difficult.
I recall the words as a thrilling rhetorical experience of parallelism, triad, and crescendo, no matter that I didn’t yet know those terms. A latter-day parse leaves the sentence looking slightly off—surely, to preserve the ascent in importance, “Democrat” should precede “American”—but it lives in my memory as the single most resonant piece of Kennedy oratory, beyond the syllogism of the missile-crisis speech or the empathetic exercise proposed in the civil-rights address. Here I am, lambasting the President as a fifth grader, an unregistered Republican, and a free man, a sense of myself that even now, after decades of identity politics and bitter political disappointment, feels ineradicable. And I know that it came, in some measure, from the Boston-accented voice my father used to mock.
foreign policy clearly in the tradition ofKennedy's inaugural: "
The rhetoricalforce of Kennedy’s inaugural persisted for decades during the cold war and isreflected, at least in part, in the rationalizations of U.S.