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Presidents in Crisis

Class #3: John F. Kennedy – An Almost Missed Calculation

“Presidents in Crisis” deals with five presidents who faced significant crisis and how they dealt with them. Woodrow Wilson’s abject failure at Versailles paralleled his final years at Princeton and resulted from much the same personality failure. Harry Truman dealt with nearly fatal attacks from three “Macs”, MacArthur, McCarthy, and McCarran. John F. Kennedy faced nothing less than the potential destruction of half of humanity during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Vietnam War brought the otherwise transformative Lyndon B. Johnson to his knees and an early death. Watergate doomed Richard M. Nixon and the confluence of the Yom Kippur War and the Saturday Night Massacre almost launched a nuclear holocaust during Nixon’s final full year in office. Fortunately we were bailed out by Henry Kissinger in a last minute late night meeting as Nixon was passed out upstairs.

This series of talks is delivered by Berkshire Theatre Group’s, Vice President and enrichment lecturer, David L. Auerbach, on behalf of OLLI in the auditorium of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts and the amphitheater of Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Age group: Adults.

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Bio/Resume:
Vice-President, Trustee and Enrichment Lecturer Berkshire Theatre Group

Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP, 1964-2010,
Sr. Counsel,  2010 to present
Education: Harvard College BA 1952
Harvard Law School LLD 1955
Adjunct Lecturer in History, Williams Collage,
Winter term  2009
Lecturer Harvard Club NYC, American History Club
2001 to Present
Lecturer B.I.L.L., OLLI 2001-2015
Lecturer, Florida Gulf Coast University ,
Renaissance Academy 2010-2015
Keynote Speaker D-Day Heisville, Normandy France
2010
Keynote Speaker Dutch-American Friendship Day
World Trade Center, Amsterdam Holland 2015

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In a Boston Globe article by Don Aucoin on Covid‑19, Artistic Director Kate Maguire said:
"Out of need will come the way. Once the pandemic ebbs, whenever that is, there will be an incredible need to gather again." The theatre has existed from the time of the Greeks. We will go on.
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