On The Making of a Catholic President, Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960,
by Shaun Casey, Oxford University Press, 2009
Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
notes by Dwayne Phillips
is a friend of mine. I have been privileged to attend church with him
for many years. I was embarrassed to be responsible for Adult Education
in that church while Shaun taught Bible classes. Shaun is far more
qualified than I to teach such classes.
Early in 2009, I heard
that Shaun had a book published. I found a copy online. This is the
type of book that I would never buy off the shelf in a bookstore. This,
however, was a different situation. A friend had written the book - now
the title and subject matter intrigued me. I ordered a copy and
anxiously awaited for it to arrive.
I was two years old when
Nixon and Kennedy faced one another in the general election of 1960.
What I know I heard from movies (unreliable) and snippets of news
coverage (only slightly more reliable). There was intrigue with the
mafia, labor unions, and voter fraud in that election. Still, it was
one of the most narrow victories in a Presidential election in our
Shaun didn't write about any of those matters. Instead,
he wrote about the letters, meeting, "tracts" (some of us old
south conservative Christians know what a tract is), small Bible
colleges, and so on. These played roles in that close election. Shaun
brings those stories and those people to life in his book. There is
some serious research in here. When did Shaun have the time to do that.
He was working inside the Obama campaign through 2008.
this book. I am glad Shaun wrote it or I would have never read it. The
stories are interesting. I recognize the names of some of the places,
people, and publications. They all influenced the outcome of that
Nixon and Kennedy had religious backgrounds. That
seems strange to write. Kennedy cheated on his wife, invaded Cuba
unsuccessfully, and succeeded at involving the United States in
Southeast Asia. Nixon pulled the U.S. out of Southeast Asia, cursed
blue streaks in the Oval Office, and ordered illegal break-ins during a
landslide campaign. Still, these two men had religions and understood
how religion could influence the outcome of their race. Shaun Casey
helps bring these two Presidents to life in a manner that I understood