Fifty years ago, in June 1963, President Kennedy embarked on the last great campaign of his life — the struggle for a sustainable peace with the Soviet Union and a dramatic slowdown in the proliferation of nuclear arms. In the fall of 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union were on the edge of nuclear abyss. As Jeffrey Sachs shows in his new book, To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace, both Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Krushchev, were deeply shaken by the Cuban Missile Crisis, with Kennedy emerging from the crisis with the determination and skills to pull the world away from the nuclear precipice, charting a path for future peacemakers to follow.

In To Move the World, Jeffrey Sachs, the bestselling author of The Price of Civilization and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, highlights President Kennedy’s speeches between June and September 1963, in which he pushed against the momentum of the Cold War to persuade his country and the world that peace with the Soviets was possible. In the summer before he was assassinated, President Kennedy worked to pass the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, a legislative achievement, Sachs emphasizes, that required JFK to use his great gifts of persuasion on multiple fronts, including with fractious allies, hawkish Republican congressmen, dubious members of his own administration and others. Sachs shows how in the last months of his life Kennedy campaigned for his vision and opened the eyes of the American public and the world at large to the possibilities of peace.

Jeffrey Sachs  Author of To Move the World: JFK's Quest for Peace and Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University

Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs is also special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He is a world-leading advocate of the Millennium Development Goals, which are designed to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger, and he directs the Sustainable Development Solutions Network on behalf of the UN secretary-general. In 2004 and 2005 he was named one of the hundred most influential leaders in the world by Time magazine.

Jeffrey Sachs: “To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace” | Posted on May 23rd, 2013 | Book Discussions, Public Programs