'Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War'

JFK and John Glenn inspect Mercury capsule, Feb. 23, 1962

Cecil Stoughton via Wikimedia Commons

'Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy, and the New Battleground of the Cold War'

Barbara Perry, Jeff Shesol

Wednesday, November 17, 2021
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)
Event Details

If the United States couldn’t catch up to the Soviets in space, how could it compete with them on Earth? That was the question facing John F. Kennedy at the height of the Cold War—a perilous time when the Soviet Union built the wall in Berlin, tested nuclear bombs more destructive than any in history, and beat the United States to every major milestone in space. The race to the heavens seemed a race for survival—and America was losing. Jeff Shesol discusses his new book on the topic, Mercury Rising, with Miller Center scholar Barbara Perry.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)
Online webinar
Barbara Perry headshot

Barbara Perry

Barbara A. Perry is the Gerald L. Baliles Professor and director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where she co-directs the Presidential Oral History Program. She has authored or edited 16 books on presidents, First Ladies, the Kennedy family, the Supreme Court, and civil rights and civil liberties. Perry has conducted more than 120 interviews for the George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama Presidential Oral History Projects; participated in the Bill Clinton interviews; directed the Edward Kennedy Oral History Project; and co-directs the Hillary Rodham Clinton Oral History Project. She served as a U.S. Supreme Court fellow and has worked for both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate.

Jeff Shesol headshot

Jeff Shesol

A founding partner of West Wing Writers, Jeff Shesol is also the author of Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. The Supreme Court, which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2010 and a Favorite Book of the Year by The New Yorker. Shesol’s previous book, Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and the Feud That Defined a Decade, was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He also is a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton.