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Union Jack
JFK's Special Relationship with Great Britain
Christopher Sandford

2017 • 272 pp. 24 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"

$29.95 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-852-8

$24.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0093-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Not for sale in the British Commonwealth except Canada

“A lively, well-researched book for readers whose interest in the era has been piqued by the 2016 film Jackie, Barbara Leaming’s Kick Kennedy, and the TV series The Crown.”—Library Journal

The fascinating story of John F. Kennedy’s lifelong love affair with England—and how it shaped him

John F. Kennedy carried on a lifelong love affair with England and the English. From his speaking style to his tastes in art, architecture, theater, music, and clothes, his personality reflected his deep affinity for a certain kind of idealized Englishness. In Union Jack, noted biographer Christopher Sandford tracks Kennedy’s exploits in Great Britain between 1935 and 1963, and looks in-depth at the unique way Britain shaped JFK throughout his adult life and how JFK charmed British society.

This mutual affinity took place against a backdrop of some of the twentieth century’s most profound events: The Great Depression, Britain’s appeasement of Hitler, the Second World War, the reconstruction of Western Europe, the development and rapid proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the ideological schism between East and West. Based on extensive archival work as well as firsthand accounts from former British acquaintances, including old girlfriends, Union Jack charts two paths in the life of JFK. The first is his deliberate, long-term struggle to escape the shadow of his father, Joseph Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain. The second is the emergence of a peculiarly American personality whose consistently pro-British, rallying rhetoric was rivaled only by Winston Churchill. By explaining JFK’s special relationship with Great Britain, Union Jack offers a unique and enduring portrait of another side of this historic figure in the centennial year of his birth.

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Reviews / Endorsements

"Union Jack is political history of a high order. In this very crowded year, it is the Kennedy book to beat."—National Review

“Elegantly told, full of sage asides and amusing observations.”
Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

Union Jack is a fresh and richly-researched addition to the body of literature about John F. Kennedy. In it, Christopher Sandford delivers a colorful account of how JFK transcended his Irish heritage and his father’s antipathy to the British to develop, as a young man, a special affinity with many influential friends in England and to build, as president, a strong relationship with the Tory government of Harold Macmillan.”—Curtis Wilkie, co-author of The Road to Camelot

“Masterful. . . . Some books have explored JFK’s early visits to England, others have looked at his fascination with Winston Churchill, and a few have examined his commitment to the Special Relationship—but no author has combined all these elements in such a compelling fashion.”—Philip White, author of A Lion in the Heartland and Whistle Stop

“Sandford shows how a young and privileged American, promiscuous as he is politically precocious, befriends like-minded roguish Brits who together grow to professional adulthood and save the Cold War world from catastrophe. An amazing story discovered and entertainingly told, it gives whole new meaning to our Special Relationship with Great Britain.”
—James W. Graham, author of
Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea

CHRISTOPHER SANDFORD has written on pop culture and postwar affairs for a range of publications, including The Times, Rolling Stone, America, The Spectator, and others. He is the author of two dozen books, including Harold and Jack: The Remarkable Friendship of Prime Minister Macmillan and President Kennedy. He lives in Seattle and London.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:04 -0500