Historical Notes: From the Professor's Notebook

As a special assistant to President John F. Kennedy, Harvard Professor Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. did some troubleshooting in Latin American affairs, traveled south with a Food-for-Peace mission, served as idea man and occasional speechwriter. And since he was also a Pulitzer-prizewinning historian, his memoirs of the Kennedy years were much in demand. Now, in a LIFE series based on a forthcoming book, Schlesinger offers some intriguing new details regarding two of John F. Kennedy's biggest—and most controversial —decisions.

"He Grabbed." The first was the selection of Lyndon Johnson as Kennedy's vice-presidential...

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