How JFK’s killing ‘shattered American liberalism’

The Kennedy assassination 50 years later

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago was a pivotal moment in American history. James Piereson, author of “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism,” argues that Kennedy’s killing had a profound and ultimately debilitating effect on the American left still felt today.

James Piereson

Piereson is scheduled to make that case on Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. His lecture is sponsored by Steven Hayward, CU’s visiting scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy.

Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation, a private grant-making foundation in New York City. The foundation has broad charitable interests in education, religion and problems of youth.

From 1985 to 2005, Piereson was executive director and trustee of the John M. Olin Foundation, when, following longstanding plans, the foundation disbursed its remaining assets and closed its doors.

The John M. Olin Foundation maintained program interests in the areas of public affairs and public policy, and awarded grants in these areas to support research, fellowships, books and journals, and television documentaries.

Most of its funds were allocated each year to major universities and private research institutions.  Prior to joining the Olin Foundation, Piereson served on the political science faculties of several prominent universities, including Iowa State University, Indiana University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught courses in the fields of U.S. government and political thought.

He is also a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute and director of the Institute’s Center for the American University.

Washington Post Columnist George F. Will recently opined about Piereson, an essay that can be seen here.

To learn more about the CU-Boulder initiative in Conservative Thought and Policy and to read Hayward’s university-related blog posts, see

October 2013



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