The Info List - Why England Slept

Why England Slept
Why England Slept
is the published version of a thesis written by John F. Kennedy while in his senior year at Harvard College. Its title was an allusion to Winston Churchill's 1938 book While England Slept, which also examined the buildup of German power. Published in 1940,[1] Kennedy's book examines the failures of the British government to take steps to prevent World War II, and its initial lack of response to Adolf Hitler's threats of war. It is notable for its uncommon stance of, rather than castigating the appeasement policy which the British government pursued at the time, suggesting instead that an earlier confrontation between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
could well have been more disastrous in the long run. Publication history[edit] The book was originally intended to be no more than a college thesis – it was rated as a magna cum laude by Professor Henry A. Yeomans and as a cum laude plus by Professor Carl J. Friedrich. But Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., who was always keen to elevate his son's reputation, encouraged Kennedy to convert the thesis into book form and publish it as such. He then enlisted Henry R. Luce
Henry R. Luce
to write the foreword,[2] and his friend Arthur Krock, former bureau chief of The New York Times, to assist in redrafting Kennedy's college thesis, originally titled " Appeasement
At Munich," into what became Why England Slept.[3] Author Garry Wills
Garry Wills
claims that this assistance amounted to rewriting and retitling the manuscript, as well as finding an agent for its publication.[4] As ambassador to Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement during the late 1930s. John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
lived with his father in Britain at that time and later, during World War II, since 1940, witnessed the Luftwaffe's bombings of Britain first-hand. The book's foreword was written by Henry R. Luce. Joseph Kennedy had initially approached Harold Laski
Harold Laski
to write the foreword, but Laski declined, feeling that it was "the book of an immature mind; that if it hadn't been written by the son of a very rich man, he wouldn't have found a publisher."[5] Release[edit] After publication in 1940, the book sold 80,000 copies in the United Kingdom and the United States, collecting US$40,000 in royalties for Kennedy. Those from the British sales were donated to Plymouth, England, recently bombed by the Luftwaffe, while Kennedy bought a Buick
convertible with the American income.[2] References[edit]

^ "Typescript". Jfklibrary.org. Retrieved 28 December 2014.  ^ a b O'Brien, Michael (2005). John F. Kennedy: A Biography. Macmillan. pp. 106–109. ISBN 978-0-312-28129-8.  ^ Alterman, Eric (February 14, 2013). "The journalist and the politician". Columbia Journalism Review.  ^ Wills, Garry (2002). The Kennedy imprisonment: A meditation on power. Boston: Mariner. p. 131. ISBN 9780618134434.  ^ Raymont, Henry (August 20, 1970). "Recordings reveal JFK's lively debate with publisher". Eugene Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. New York Times News Service. p. 9A. Retrieved April 7, 2015. 

v t e

John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States
President of the United States
(1961–1963) U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1953–1960) U.S. Representative for MA-11 (1947–1953)

Presidency (timeline)

Presidential Office: Inauguration Cabinet Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

Presidential pardons

Domestic policy: Clean Air Act Communications Satellite Act Community Mental Health Act Equal Pay Act Federal affirmative action Federal housing segregation ban Fifty-mile hikes Food for Peace New Frontier Pilot Food Stamp Program Space policy Status of Women (Presidential Commission) University of Alabama integration Voter Education Project

Foreign policy: Alliance for Progress Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Flexible response Kennedy Doctrine Peace Corps Trade Expansion Act USAID Vietnam War Cuba: Bay of Pigs Invasion Cuban Project Cuban Missile Crisis


Soviet Union: Berlin Crisis Moscow–Washington hotline Vienna summit

White House: Presidential limousine Presidential yacht Resolute desk Situation Room

Presidential speeches

Inaugural address American University speech "We choose to go to the Moon" Report to the American People on Civil Rights "Ich bin ein Berliner" "A rising tide lifts all boats"


U.S. States House of Representatives elections, 1946 1948 1950 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, 1952 1958 1960 Presidential primaries 1960 Presidential campaign Democratic National Convention 1956 1960 U.S. presidential election, 1960


Personal life

Birthplace and childhood home Kennedy Compound US Navy service PT-109

Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana Arthur Evans PT-59 Castle Hot Springs

Hammersmith Farm Coretta Scott King phone call Rocking chair "Happy Birthday, Mr. President"


Why England Slept
Why England Slept
(1940) Profiles in Courage
Profiles in Courage
(1956) A Nation of Immigrants
A Nation of Immigrants



timeline reactions in popular culture

State funeral

Riderless horse attending dignitaries

Gravesite and Eternal Flame


John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library and Museum (Boston) 1964 Civil Rights Act Apollo 11
Apollo 11
Moon landing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
(Florida) Kennedy Round U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development VISTA Cultural depictions

films Kennedy half dollar U.S. postage stamps U.S. five cent stamp Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences

Operation Sail

Memorials, namesakes

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
International Airport (New York) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Memorial (London) John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
(Dallas) John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
(Portland, Oregon) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Memorial (Runnymede, Britain) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Memorial Bridge (Kentucky–Indiana) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
School of Government (Harvard Univ.) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
Warfare Center and School (Fort Bragg, North Carolina) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
University (California) John Kennedy College (Mauritius) Kennedy Expressway
Kennedy Expressway
(Chicago) MV John F. Kennedy USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Yad Kennedy
Yad Kennedy


Jacqueline Bouvier (wife) Caroline Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy
(daughter) John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

son plane crash

Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy
(son) Jack Schlossberg
Jack Schlossberg
(grandson) Rose Schlossberg
Rose Schlossberg
(granddaughter) Tatiana Schlossberg (granddaughter) Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.
(father) Rose Fitzgerald (mother) Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.
(brother) Rosemary Kennedy
Rosemary Kennedy
(sister) Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
(sister) Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
(sister) Patricia Kennedy Lawford
Patricia Kennedy Lawford
(sister) Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
(brother) Jean Kennedy Smith
Jean Kennedy Smith
(sister) Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
(brother) P. J. Kennedy
P. J. Kennedy
(grandfather) John F. Fitzgerald
John F. Fitzgerald

← Dwight D. Eisenhower Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson