Profiles in Courage
Profiles in Courage is a 1956 volume of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United States Senators, written by then-Senator John F. Kennedy, extensively helped by Ted Sorensen. Kennedy is widely listed as the sole author and won the Pulitzer Prize for the work. The book profiles senators who defied the opinions of their party and constituents to do what they felt was right and suffered severe criticism and losses in popularity because of their actions. It begins with a quote from Edmund Burke on the courage of the English statesman Charles James Fox, in his 1783 attack upon the tyranny of the East India Company in the House of Commons.The book focuses intensely on mid-19th-century antebellum America and the efforts of senators to delay the American Civil War. Profiles was widely celebrated and became a bestseller. It includes a foreword by Allan Nevins.
In 1990, Kennedy's family created the Profile in Courage Award to honor individuals who have acted with courage in the same vein as those profiled in the book.
In his 2008 autobiography, Kennedy speechwriter Ted Sorenson, who was presumed as early as 1958 to be the book's ghostwriter, acknowledged that he actually wrote most of the book.
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