Format Paperback
Publication Date 09/10/19
ISBN 9781643132280
Trim Size / Pages 8.8 x 5.7 in / 336

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Rising Star, Setting Sun

Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and the Presidential Transition That Changed America

John T. Shaw

A monumental new history reveals how the transition of power from Eisenhower to Kennedy marked the culmination of a generational shift in American politics, policy, and culture.

After winning the presidency by a razor-thin victory on November 8, 1960, over Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s former vice president, John F. Kennedy became the thirty-fifth president of the United States. But beneath the stately veneers of both Ike and JFK, there was a complex and consequential rivalry. In Rising Star, Setting Sun, John T. Shaw focuses on the intense ten-week transition between JFK’s electoral victory and his inauguration on January 20, 1961. In just over two months, America would transition into a new age, and nowhere was it more marked that in the generational and personal difference between these two men and their dueling visions for the country they led. The former general espoused frugality, prudence, and stewardship. The young political wunderkid embodied dramatic themes and sweeping social change. Extensively researched and eloquently written, Shaw paints a vivid picture of what Time called a “turning point in the twentieth century” as Americans today find themselves poised on the cusp of another watershed moment in our nation’s history.

John T. Shaw is the author of four previous books, including most recently JFK in the Senate: A Pathway to the Presidency. He’s covered Congress for Market News International for nearly twenty-five years, and has also been a contributing writer for the Washington Diplomat and has been a guest on PBS NewsHour and C-SPAN. He lives in Washington D.C.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“With telling details and anecdotes, a keen understanding of the principals and their times, and a vigorous narrative that sweeps the reader through his story, Shaw provides a colorful and constructive account of American democracy at work.” Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A gripping examination of the transfer of power between Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy at a critical moment in history.” Publishers Weekly
“A focused history of the period between Election Day 1960 and Inauguration Day 1961.” Kirkus Reviews