lunes, 21 de octubre de 2013

The Kennedy Half Century

Welcome to The Kennedy Half Century
Hello everyone.

It has been my great pleasure to teach at the University of Virginia for nearly 40 years now, but you are a member of my first online class.

Thank you for your interest in The Kennedy Half Century. This week we marked the launch of the book, The Kennedy Half Century, and also introduced the course and the upcoming PBS documentary at a major press announcement at the Newseum in Washington, DC which you can find on the books website at

The first video lessons for the Coursera class will open this coming Monday, October 21 2013. We've been hard at work on these lessons for months, so we're eager to get them to you. We have also created a number of Discussion Boards within the course pages (places where you can ask questions, post your comments and discuss the lessons with others who are taking the course with you). You will see those on your main course homepage when the course starts next week. I, together with my staff of very capable Community Teaching Assistants, will monitor the Discussion Boards and will address questions and topics as they arise. Given the large number of students who have enrolled in this class, it is impossible to address every question or interest individually. We will be following the discussions and we will make every effort to focus the discussion and help out as needed.

I encourage you to use the Discussion Boards to post your own thoughts about the material and to exchange views with others who are taking the class. This class is offered worldwide, and many people from many nations are enrolled. Your fellow classmates could be members of your family, your neighbors and/or they may also be people on the other side of the globe. Please use the Discussion Boards to express your ideas and comments about your views of John F. Kennedy's legacy, and also to find others who share your particular interests or want to engage in related course discussions.

I will post to the Discussion Boards on a regular basis, and I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @LarrySabato and like us on The Kennedy Half Century Facebook page. I frequently tweet about politics and public policy, but over the next month a great deal of my focus will also be on John F. Kennedy and his legacy as we approach the 50th anniversary of the November 22, 1963 assassination in Dallas, Texas. The first week of lessons will start with a Welcome and Overview, followed by introduction to how I became interested in this subject. I had the pleasure of seeing JFK when I was a youngster as he campaigned in my hometown of Norfolk, Virginia and I've been interested since...but more on that later. The third lesson will be an overview of JFK's early life and the start of his political career. From there we will progress to many of the fascinating details of his 1960 campaign and the day he was elected the 35th President of the United States.

In these ten lessons of the first week I hope to provide a broad introduction to John F. Kennedy and show that his rise to power was relatively quick. But to achieve that success, JFK had to overcome quite a few social and political obstacles along the way, any one of which could easily have derailed his political career.

Again, welcome to the class and I hope you enjoy the experience.

Larry J. Sabato and TKHC team

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