Since 1974, the "For Beginners" series has tried to break the exclusive hold "high culture" books and journals have had on serious social and scientific ideas. The strategy has been to make theories less dry and removed by showing how they spring out of the life experience of the theorist and the social and intellectual climate of the day. The series has been a success - not only in selling a million books about Freud, Marx, Einstein and others since the mid-1970s, but in presenting a range of serious ideas without trivialization or condescension.This latest work begins by tapping into the cynicism of people who might be reluctant to read yet another tribute to America's youngest president ("Was he a Cold Warrior ready to provoke a fight to prove his manliness?" the author asks), but goes on to celebrate Kennedy for his strength as a symbolic leader. Some illustrations lack the wit and bite of previous installments and the text focuses more on Kennedy's personal life than previous editions, but on the whole this work is both critical and fair, lambasting Kennedy for "allowing himself to be sold to the voters like a new brand of soft drink" but affirming his greatness as an inspirational leader.