John F. Kennedy Publishes His Senior Thesis, "Appeasement in Munich", as a Book Entitled 'Why England Slept'

In 1940, Kennedy completed his thesis, "Appeasement in Munich," about British participation in the Munich Agreement.

He initially intended his thesis to be private, but his father encouraged him to publish it as a book. He graduated cum laude from Harvard with a degree in international affairs in June 1940, and his thesis was published in July 1940 as a book entitled Why England Slept, and became a bestseller. From September to December 1940, Kennedy was enrolled and audited classes at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In early 1941, he helped his father complete the writing of a memoir of his three years as an American ambassador. In May and June 1941, Kennedy traveled throughout South America.

IMAGINE that as a young man in college you wrote a book of judgment on the behavior of a contemporary empire, its leaders and its people . . .

Imagine that twenty years later, when you are still young, you become President of the United States at a time when America faces grim possibilities of destruction and surrender . . .