A Symbol of Virtue Or A Strategy for Votes? John F. Kennedy’s Telephone Call to Coretta King And Its Social And Political Consequences

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dc.contributor.advisor Kryder, Daniel Thomas
dc.contributor.author Sullivan, Matthew E.
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-30T15:48:32Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-30T15:48:32Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/25160
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the effect of a phone conversation between Kennedy and Coretta Scott King concerning Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s unfair imprisonment on the African- American community, and the social and political consequences that followed. By examining Kennedy’s relationship to civil rights before the call, the events surrounding the phone call itself, and the political strategy involved in getting the message of Kennedy’s call to African- Americans, this thesis will attempt to determine Kennedy’s motivations in making the call and if it had any effects. By looking at polling data and voting statistics among African-Americans, this thesis will determine to what extent they supported Kennedy in the election. A chart was developed that examined Kennedy’s motivation for making the call, ranging from instrumental to moral. The effect of the call ranges from a high effect, no effect at all, and a negative effect for Kennedy. If the call had a positive effect and Kennedy did it for political reasons, he is a calculating candidate. If the call had no effect and Kennedy made it for political reasons, he is an ineffectual candidate. If the call had a negative effect and Kennedy made it for votes, he is a candidate who failed. Conversely, if he called out of concern and the call had a positive effect, he is a heroic candidate. If he truly cared when he called and it had no effect, he is a benign candidate. If he made the call for moral reasons and it had a negative effect, he is a foolish candidate. After looking at all the data and developing a chart examining Kennedy’s motivation and the effect the phone call had, the effect of the phone call can be quantified as high, and Kennedy’s motivations in making the call were mixed. Kennedy’s mixed motivations shed an interesting light on the campaign and his dealings with civil rights.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Matthew E. Sullivan 2013
dc.subject John F. Kennedy
dc.subject Coretta Scott King
dc.subject Martin Luther King, Jr.
dc.subject the "blue bomb"
dc.subject 1960 Presidential Election
dc.title A Symbol of Virtue Or A Strategy for Votes? John F. Kennedy’s Telephone Call to Coretta King And Its Social And Political Consequences
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Graduate Program in Comparative History
dc.degree.name MA
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Comparative History
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.description.esploro yes


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