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Up To Date

Steve's Bookshelf: Cracking Camelot And Becoming American


John F. Kennedy was no King Arthur, but his life has often been compared to Camelot.

On Monday's Up to Date, we revisit Steve’s Bookshelf, a collection of books on Steve Kraske's radar right now. We talk with Thurston Clarke and Robert Dallek the authors of two different books that examine the former president’s policies. Also, author Domingo Martinez takes us into the life of a family trying to become “real” Americans on the Texas border.


  • Thurston Clarke is the author of JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President. His Pearl Harbor Ghosts was the basis of a CBS documentary, and his Lost Hero, a biography of Raoul Wallenberg, was made into an award-winning NBC miniseries. His articles have appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times​ and The Washington Post. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • Robert Dallek is the author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 and Nixon and Kissinger, among other books. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly and Vanity Fair. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians, for which he served as president in 2004-2005. 
  • Domingo Martinez is the author of The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir. He has written for Epiphany, The New Republic, This American Life, Huisache Literary JournalAll Things Considered and Saveur Magazine. He was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2013 Pushcart Prize and was a gold medal winner for The Independent Publisher Book Awards. 

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.