p>Historian James N. Giglio examines both the Camelot legend and the personal darkness in the life of one of our most fascinating political personalities in The Presidency of John F. Kennedy on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
The event is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute.
Giglio's best-selling study, recently revised and updated, has been acclaimed as the best and most balanced book on JFK's White House years.
Describing Kennedy as "the most medicated, one of the most courageous, and perhaps the most self-absorbed of our presidents," he discusses newly declassified documents on foreign policy under Kennedy, as well as medical records that suggest JFK's public image of youth and vigor was a sham.
Giglio reveals new appreciation for JFK's prudence in handling the Cuban missile crisis and the emerging war in Vietnam. In Kennedy's three years in office, he writes, the nation improved.
At the same time Giglio looks into shocking revelations about Kennedy's personal life - physical ailments and heavy prescriptions, as well as sexual behavior that borders on addiction with the President having trysts with movie stars, socialites, "party girls," low-level White House employees, and even strangers. Giglio speculates that JFK's sexual obsessions could have affected his presidency even more had he lived to serve a second term.
James N. Giglio is distinguished professor of history at Missouri State University and author of H.M. Daugherty and the Politics of Expediency, Debating the Kennedy Presidency and Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407.
Co-sponsored by KCUR's Up-to-Date and Missouri State University.