Overby Center Program Explores JFK’s Bid to Win the South

With this program, the Overby Center continues to highlight Mississippi issues in connection with its 200th anniversary as a state.

john-kennedy-and-eisenhower
Incoming president John Kennedy shakes hands with his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, after winning the 1960 election.

Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie, co-authors of “The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK’s Five-Year Campaign,” will focus on a dominant issue covered in their new book—John F. Kennedy’s shifting strategy to win support in the South during the 1960 Democratic presidential campaign—in a conversation with Overby Center chairman Charles Overby on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m.

The program will be held in the Overby Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will be held afterward.

“The Road to Camelot” explores Kennedy’s perilous attempt to court segregationist Southern Democrats who controlled the politics of the region while trying not to antagonize African Americans in the North whose vote was critical in many states there.

By placing emphasis on the regional aspect, the Overby Center continues to highlight Mississippi issues in connection with the 200th anniversary of statehood this year.

Curtis Wilkie Bio
Curtis Wilkie

Oliphant and Wilkie worked together on the staff of the Boston Globe for more than 25 years prior to their retirement. They interviewed many of the survivors of the Kennedy campaign and did extensive research at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston to gather valuable and hitherto undiscovered material for the book.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, a prominent presidential historian and author of “The Bully Pulpit” and “Team of Rivals,” said of the book, “Two of our most gifted reporters have found the perfect subject to match their love of politics, their interviewing skills, and their literary talents. The result is a freshly told, endlessly riveting story that captures the reader every step along the way.”

Tom Oliphant

 

Oliphant, who lives in Washington, is a frequent visitor to Oxford. His interest in bringing the first presidential debate to Ole Miss in 2008 was instrumental to the university’s selection. He is the author of four other books and served for years as one of the commentators on PBS’ NewsHour. 

Wilkie is also the author of four earlier books and has been a fellow at the Overby Center since it was established on the Ole Miss campus in 2007.

 


Special to HottyToddy.com.

 

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