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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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And then he got out some letters from various people who had helped him on specific matters, which, by the way, were acknowledged in the foreword of the book and to show to me the degree to which he had received help and assistance and historical research from various professors and others, all of whose names, as I recall, are in the acknowledgements. I was with him that time I think only about a half hour because we had to adjourn for luncheon engagements, both of us, separately, but for the entire length of the visit in his office, which was at least a half hour, perhaps longer, the only thing that he would let me discuss (as a matter of fact, he wouldn't let me discuss it; he discussed) was the fact that he was really and truly the author of Profiles in Courage and he damn well didn't want me to leave that office without being absolutely convinced of it. And I will say that by the time I left, I was quite convinced that he had been the author.

The only significance of this is that it seems to me it showed how sensitive he was to this charge of having something ghostwritten. And I don't think it was merely because Kennedy himself was genuinely interested in intellectual and literary matters. I think this was very much part of it. I think he had a real pride of accomplishment and authorship and sensitivity about this. But I think also that even this far ahead of the 1960 campaign-this was several years ahead-he also had very much in mind that as a political figure, he didn't want newspapermen, or anybody else, for that matter, to be going around saying that here was a faker who might have plagiarized or used somebody else's name in producing a book. I think he was very conscious-I certainly had that feeling when I left-of the political implications of this kind of story as well as the literary and moral implications.


You mentioned a vignette about President Johnson also.

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