The Week

Big Fat Book in 60 Seconds Flat

Sure, Robert Dallek's An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 -- 1963 (Little, Brown, $30) may be an authoritative bio of the storied prez. But it's 838 pages long. Here's a quick look at the book's news-grabbing highlights.

-- JFK was a regular in hospitals from age 3. A sampling of his ailments: scarlet fever, malaria, Addison's disease, colitis, an inflamed prostate, cramps, and the worst back in history.

-- Dubya, take heart. Due to low marks in French and Latin, JFK attended summer school at Choate. At Harvard, he got Cs in history and government.

-- As prez, JFK had an affair with an unnamed 19-year-old White House intern who, according to one source, ''had no skills...she couldn't type.''

-- His legendary philandering was evident early on. During a 1934 hospital stay, Kennedy, then 17, wrote to a friend, ''I had an enema given by a beautiful blonde...that, my sweet, is the height of cheap thrills.''

Originally posted May 23, 2003 Published in issue #711 May 23, 2003 Order article reprints

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