A.P. U.S. History

Summer Assignment

Ms. Boyum

Topic: Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy reflective essay. This book is available at local libraries and bookstores for a nominal charge.



            You will write a reflective essay on two of the individuals contained within Profiles in Courage. John F. Kennedy, our 35th president of the United States, wrote Profiles in Courage while in the U.S. Senate. According to his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, “Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  He sought out those people who had demonstrated in some way, whether it was on a battlefield or a baseball diamond, in a speech or fighting for a cause, that they had courage that they would stand up, that they could be counted on."

            Thus, in this assignment, not only are you to analyze the bravery of two of the people detailed, but also research the life and career of President Kennedy, and provide examples of his courageousness.  Then, you are to detail someone you know who also exemplifies leadership and how they represent responsibility in today’s society. Finally, you will conclude with why you feel leadership and courageousness are necessary to the survival of our democracy.
            All of your research must include MLA citation and have a works cited page.

            Some quotes from John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage for consideration:

            "The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people - faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but will also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment - faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor, and ultimately recognize right."

"For in a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, 'holds office'; everyone of us is in a position of responsibility; and, in the final analysis, the kind of government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities. We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve."

"In whatever area in life one may meet the challenges of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience - the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men - each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient - they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.

"For without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men - such as the subjects of this book - have lived ."

"A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality."

            The main goal of social studies is to produce an informed member of the citizenry. American history and the ideals of true democracy rest on the consent and intelligence of the governed. Therefore, you must read Profiles in Courage, detail the individuals of your choice, discuss the themes of the book, discuss President Kennedy and provide your own example. These are the minimum requirements.

            This paper is to be typed, in twelve-point Times New Roman Font, double-spaced with a minimum of 500 words. It is due August 12, 2013. Any questions or concerns can be emailed to Ms. Boyum at Danielle.Boyum@henry.k12.ga.us. Good luck!