We shape reality and reality shapes us. Things happen and our retrospective unde

We shape reality and reality shapes us. Things happen and our retrospective understanding of those happenings affects and even determines how we act in the future.
This assignment invites you to examine President Kennedy’s “learning curve” through three key events/processes in his presidency. In 1961 his administration experienced the Bay of PIgs in Cuba, widely regarded as a mistake and a humiliating defeat for him and his administration. In 1962 he faced off against his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Kruschev, over offensive nuclear missiles the Soviet placed in Cuba. In 1963 (earlier too) Kennedy faced increasing evidence that America’s Vietnam policy was not working and that South Vietnam faced problems of political instability and the likelihood of military defeat at the hands of North Vietnam.
Your goal is to assess what Kennedy did in these three incidents, why he took the course he did in each case, and most importantly how he processed what happened in each case. What did he think? How did he “grade” himself and his policies? How in turn did that process of self-assessment affect him in the next case? In other words how did 1961 Cuba shape the way he behaved in 1962 Cuba , and in turn how did 1962 Cuba shape his approach to Vietnam in 1963.
Bear in mind that as you read listen and watch him via documents You Tubes tape recordings, you should remember the macro themes we’ve been discussing in our course. For example does he have strong views on themes like American power in the world? What should that look like? What is the impact on policy of living in a nuclear age? How does he understand the relationship between political and military problems?
You can submit this as a 3-5 paper, or as a video of approximately 8-10 minutes. Feel free to use the sorts of materials you find of him re. videos etc.
As with any paper you should have a thesis statement/a central argument you’re making. You should then support your argument with specific evidence. You can present that either as a question/hypothesis/evidence/conclusion (like a proof in effect) or as a narrative that has a beginning a middle and an end (but which still feature a question/a thesis/evidence to support your thesis/a conclusion).
Regardless of whether or not you submit a written paper or a video, please furnish a bibliography re. the sources that you used. There are MANY ways of researching JFK’s presidency and these incidents: the Miller Center at U.VA has lots of good material including tape recordings, as does the JFK Library here in Boston (we should visit). There’s also the Cold War archive. And so much on YouTube etc.