The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy Volumes IV-VI

The Winds of Change: October 29, 1962 - February 7, 1963

David Coleman (Editor), Timothy Naftali (General Editor), Philip D. Zelikow (General Editor, University of Virginia)


This is presidential power in its rawest form, revealed alongside the private vulnerabilities of the world’s most public man.

In the summer of 1962, President John F. Kennedy asked the Secret Service to install a hidden taping system in the White House Oval Office and Cabinet Room. Reel-to-reel tape recorders were placed in the basement, connected to concealed microphones, and operated at the touch of an inconspicuous button at the President’s side. Another recorder was connected to the President’s telephone. Kennedy’s secret recordings, most likely collected in preparation for a memoir of his years in office, provide an extraordinarily revealing and intimate view into the White House during some of the most momentous events of the twentieth century.

The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, Volumes IV–VI continue the ambitious project, undertaken by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, to transcribe and annotate the secretly recorded White House tapes. The tapes presented here begin on October 29, 1962—the first day after the Cuban Missile Crisis—and run through February 7, 1963.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • March 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-08124-4
  • 7.3 × 10.5 in / 1728 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“These volumes of presidential recordings both fascinate and illuminate. They show how John F. Kennedy reached his vital decisions, and they cast important new light on the conflicts of our times. This is history in the raw, and it is compelling.” — Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

“A meticulous, thoughtfully rendered set of volumes that offer us the sharpest, clearest, and truest picture of the presidency during a high age of American power. The tense debate, the confusion, the insights, the jokes, the courage—it’s all there, as it really happened. This is the true West Wing.” — Evan Thomas

“These volumes will intrigue the general reader and keep historians working hard for a long time as we assess and reassess John Kennedy’s presidency.” — Michael Beschloss

“There is nothing comparable to this multivolume collection of presidential materials. This work is and will be an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the twentieth-century American presidency. It provides us with unprecedented insight into policymaking at the highest level.” — Robert Dallek

Also by David Coleman All

  1. Book CoverThe Fourteenth Day: JFK and the Aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis: The Secret White House Tapes


Also by Timothy Naftali All

  1. Book Cover"One Hell of a Gamble": Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964


  2. Book CoverKhrushchev's Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary


  3. Book CoverThe Presidential Recordings: Lyndon B. Johnson: Mississippi Burning and the Passage of the Civil Rights Act: June 1, 1964-July 4, 1964

    Two-volume slipcased set / Hardcover

    Volume(s): 7-8

Also by Philip D. Zelikow All

  1. Book CoverAmerica and Russia: Memos to a President


  2. Book CoverAmerica and the Balkans: Memos to a President


  3. Book CoverAmerica and the East Asian Crisis: Memos to a President


All Subjects