Fredrik Logevall

Fredrik Logevall
Lecture date
Originally aired: February 1st, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956

Fredrik Logevall is an award-winning, renowned historian, accomplished educator, and prolific writer on the Vietnam War and its legacy. His epic and groundbreaking book Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam, won both the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in History and the prestigious Parkman Prize, which deemed it an “extraordinary work of modern history.” The book draws on more than a decade of research and sources and archives on three continents.

His most recent book, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956, is a sweeping, revelatory biography that takes readers as close as they have ever been to the real John F. Kennedy. The first volume of a two-part biography, this book spans the first thirty-nine years of JFK’s life — from birth through his decision to run for president — to reveal his early relationships, his formative experiences during World War II, his ideas, his writings, and his political aspirations. In examining these pre–White House years, Logevall shows readers a more serious, independently minded Kennedy than what was previously known, whose distinct international sensibility would prepare him to enter national politics at a critical moment in modern U.S. history.

In addition to his prolific writing career, Logevall is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and professor of history at Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is a popular speaker at lecture series, colleges and universities, and historical organizations across the United States. In addition to his expertise in all aspects of the Vietnam War, his in-depth knowledge of international relations and foreign policy allows him to skillfully draw parallels between history and current events — inspiring audiences and encouraging dialogue about the lessons that can be learned from the past.