On October 6th, author William Doyle will publish PT 109: An American Epic of War, Survival, and the Destiny of John F. Kennedy, a new book that aims to reexamine the president’s legacy through the lens of his World War II service.
Our readers know Doyle as Chris Kyle’s coauthor on American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms and SEAL legend Dick Couch’s coauthor on Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story, the excellent companion book to last year’s PBS documentary.
We’re debuting a clip in which William Doyle talks about the book and the impact JFK’s heroism had on his political career.
Doyle draws on declassified documents, materials uncovered in Japanese military archives, and new firsthand interviews with the last surviving links to event, including JFK’s rescuer Lieutenant William “Bud” Liebenow, captain of 109’s sister ship, PT 157.
The author also talks about how the slow pace of the rescue impacted JFK’s future dealings with the military. As president, Kennedy had a skeptical attitude toward military bureaucracy and an intimate experience with fallout from the fallibility of the brass.
It’s been over 50 years since Cliff Robertson portrayed JFK in a movie version of PT 109, so Doyle’s book seems aimed to inspire a new movie version of the story.