Caroline Kennedy is the author/editor of eight best-selling books on constitutional law, American history, politics, and poetry. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, Kennedy is the Vice Chair of the New York City Fund for Public Schools. She is the President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
It is the 50th anniversary of my father’s Presidency so I recently published my mother’s recollections of that time: Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy. It is also the 150th anniversary of the Civil War so I have been reading the Disunion series in the New York Times online. Then I decided to read 1861 by Adam Goodheart, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin and the Fiery Trial by Eric Foner. I am starting Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz whose books I greatly enjoy. It is sobering to read about this time in our history when the politics of our own time are so divisive.
I also read about the Salem witch trials after a visit to Salem, Mass. with my daughter. In the Devil's Snare by Mary Beth Horton is the most comprehensive. It is hard to believe that an entire community joined to put innocent people to death (almost all women) based on the most farfetched fabrications by children. Yet when the facts of this tragedy are re-examined, there are harsh lessons about bigotry, prejudice, and the dangers of violating basic human rights.