Why England Slept.

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on": First Edition of Why England Slept; Inscribed by Jack Kennedy

Why England Slept.



Item Number: 19055

New York: Wilfred Funk, Inc, 1940.

First edition of John F. Kennedy’s first book. Octavo, original red cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in a contemporary hand, “For Asa Bordages with best wishes Jack Kennedy.” The recipient, Asa Bordages was a feature writer for the New York World-Telegram and playwright known for the 1941 play Brooklyn USA. Introduction by Henry R. Luce. Lightest of rubbing, near fine in a very good dust jacket with some small chips and wear to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

Published the year Kennedy graduated from Harvard, Why England Slept was an expansion of his senior thesis. The title is a variation on the title of Winston Churchill’s work, While England Slept, published about two years before Kennedy’s. It was dedicated to John's parents, Rose and Joe Kennedy. In this work he attempts to explain why England was so poorly prepared for World War II and why England’s leaders settled upon the disastrous policies of appeasement. The book served as a warning to those in our country who felt that appeasing Hitler and staying out of the war was a viable option. It became a bestseller in the United States and went through several printings in its first year. (Newcomb, 10)

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