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JFK’s The Strategy of Peace II

I. The Possibilities of Peace 

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on Chapter 1 of “The Strategy of Peace” written by Senator John F. Kennedy.  The book is published by Harper & Row, New York, 1960.


The title of Chapter I is THE POSSIBILITIES OF PEACE

Senator Kennedy titles Part 2 of Chapter I:  The Khrushchev-Eisenhower Visit*

*Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Gettysburg, PA. on Sept. 25 & 26, 1959 after having arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 15 for an extended visit.

A joint statement issued afterward indicated that the meetings had resulted in a clarification of each side’s positions as well as enhancing the hopes of a lasting peace between the USA & USSR.


Eisenhower & Khrushchev, Gettysburg, PA, Sept 25, 1959, US NAVY/NPS Photo

This part is the text of an address Senator Kennedy made on October 1, 1959 at the University of Rochester in New York.

JFK identifies the “only one supreme…issue confronting the American public today” as NATIONAL SECURITY.

The Senator cites the visit of Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev to the United States as the reason Americans had “taken a new look” at the issue.

JFK writes that while the premier’s visit was over, Americans should keep him in their thoughts.

JFK poses these questions:

“What lessons did we learn? What manner of man was this Khrushchev? What did we learn about our future relations?”

In Senator Kennedy’s view, Khrushchev was “shrewd…tough…vigorous, well informed & confident.”

JFK goes on to say that the Khrushchev he saw 1st hand in a session with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee not only “talked of the inevitable triumph of the Communist system,” but also “was thoroughly versed in &…thoroughly believed” in that system.

Senator Kennedy says that whether or not Khrushchev really wants to end the COLD WAR will be seen “in his deeds, not his words.”

JFK goes on to cite 5 specific areas where the United States & the USSR have common interests:

1.To be free of the crushing burdens of the arms race.

2.To avoid a nuclear war.

3.To keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of other nations.

4.To keep the air from becoming radioactive.

5.To advance their economies & scientific achievements.

JFK says that we must “always be pressing for a gradual thaw” in the Cold War & we can do this with “imagination, patience, determination &…effort.”


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