Alright. This column is a little off topic. But I think if you read on you’ll see the connections to this blog.
Peace in our Time
This spring 2013, I read a book about President Kennedy’s assassination called
JFK and the Unspeakable. Two of the biggest things I took away from reading this book:
–The presence of Thomas Merton
who was mentioned throughout the book. Merton, being one of my favorite spiritual writers was a complete surprise for me appearing in this book. As you can see, I’ve written about Merton at Wisdom and Life previously. You only have to point your mouse to the link to see who Merton was and how much I resonate with him. I was actually re-introduced to Merton through Jessica Mokrzycki, who wrote about Merton in her blog Ascending the Hills. It made perfect sense placing him there if you take the opportunity to read this book.
–The fact that President Kennedy, though he ran on a military strike first campaign, as he grew into the presidency, he shifted his policies.
Peace in our time became his mantra. President Kennedy was so intent on finding peace, he developed a back channel communication with then Soviet leader Khrushchev. That was probably the most shocking information I picked up after reading this book. Both Kennedy and Khrushchev came to understand the importance of finding a way through the Cold War.
Both of their respective governments were at odds with their leaders steps to negotiate together. That was why President Kennedy communicated privately with Khrushchev. Peace was so important to both leaders, that Khrushchev even spoke with Fidel Castro about opening a dialog with President Kennedy.
Nikita Khrushchev’s son has said point blank that IF Kennedy had survived and was not killed, he was convinced both leaders would have ended the Cold War in the 1960s.
Thomas Merton ran through the entire dialog of this book. It was Merton through the many writings he produced that motivated President Kennedy to initially reach out to Khrushchev. Along with these findings that shocked me, the thesis of JFK and the Unspeakable is another theory as to why Kennedy was targeted for assassination.
Seeing Thomas Merton appear in this book was surprising in itself. I feel this is a book that is well researched and one we should all read. It’s another reason I wanted to discuss it at Wisdom and Life. With peace and letting go of anger playing such an important role at this blog I felt it was another reason to discuss JFK and the Unspeakable here too.
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.