Why England Slept - by John F. Kennedy

Why England Slept written by John F. Kennedy

While he was still a college student, at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy had to write a thesis paper.  It was 1940, and he chose an interesting subject to analyze.

Asking himself why it was that pre-WWII England did not recognize the threat which Germany had posed before war erupted in 1939, the future president carefully thought through the issues:

  • Why, for example, did England’s leaders fail to realize that German rearmament was creating a danger?
  • Why didn’t more of England’s leaders (besides Churchill) recognize that Germany’s increasing belligerence, during the 1930s, was an ominous warning sign?

Conclusions by Kennedy (the student) provide an interesting foretaste of Kennedy (the future U.S. President):

  • Democracy and capitalism are superior systems (in the long run); and
  • Dictatorships and economic control are more effective in preparing for, and prosecuting war (in the short run).

While perusing the young Kennedy’s thesis-turned-into-a-book, keep this in mind.  He wrote it long before anyone knew the outcome of World War II.  

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 27, 2020

Media Credits

Book-cover image, copyright JFK Presidential Library and Museum, all rights reserved.  Image online, via Wikimedia Commons, and provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new readers with the book.  


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"Why England Slept - by John F. Kennedy" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 27, 2020.
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