What is the author's purpose in writing Profiles in Courage?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

That really all depends on who actually wrote the book. The general consensus is that, though Senator John F. Kennedy (as he then was) provided the overarching theme for the book, it was his speechwriter Ted Sorensen who actually wrote it. Nevertheless, whatever the truth of the matter, Profiles in Courage can be seen as an attempt by an ambitious young senator to make himself into a nationally renowned figure.

In those days it was generally considered quite important for those who sought public office to show evidence of in-depth knowledge, especially in relation to American history. Kennedy's ten-year political career, first in the House, then in the Senate, had drawn criticism from many, including some within his own party, for a notable lack of substance or achievement. Even allowing for Kennedy's frequent debilitating illnesses during this period, the charge undoubtedly rankled with him, and so writing a political history book—or at least giving the appearance of having written...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 620 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Already a member? Log in here.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on