Unsigned personal draft letter, one page, 7 x 10.25, White House letterhead, April 23, 1962. Letter to Californian Congressman James Roosevelt, in full: “Many thanks for your letter. Contrary to what you may have heard I am not in the least concerned about the publication of the liberal papers, except that it may embarrass politically some good Congressmen. While I have not agreed for a long period of time with many of the writers, I do think that the more that is written and discussed about foreign policy the more meaningful becomes our use of free speech and the more careful becomes our analysis of present and future policies. The fact is that the bankruptcy of the Republican party has been (greatly) exposed (increased) by their concentration on this wholly synthetic issue.” President Kennedy makes a few handwritten emendations in pencil, adding “good” and “exposed,” while striking through “greatly” and “increased.” In fine condition, with staple holes to the upper left corner. Accompanied by the final onionskin draft of the letter. A volume of twelve anonymously written essays, The Liberal Papers, attracted the ire of the GOP, and in particular former Vice President Richard Nixon, for its apparent advocacy and ‘unilateral goodwill toward the international Communist conspiracy.’ In spite of a public letter from the White House repudiating the stance of the essays—a move no doubt aimed at curbing Republican agitation—Kennedy never formally denounced the publication’s ideas; he simply didn’t always agree with its writers.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.