Title: Jack 1939
Author: Francine Mathews
Tapped by President Franklin Roosevelt to travel to Europe and learn what the Nazis are planning, twenty-two-year-old John F. Kennedy, son of the U.S. ambassador to Britain, joins the president’s efforts to stop the flow of German money that is influencing the 1940 U.S. election.
A young Jack Kennedy travels to Europe on a secret mission for Franklin Roosevelt as the world braces for war. It’s the spring of 1939, and the prospect of war in Europe looms large. The United States has no intelligence service. In Washington, D.C., President Franklin Roosevelt may run for an unprecedented third term and needs someone he can trust to find out what the Nazis are up to. His choice: John F. Kennedy. It’s a surprising selection. At twenty-two, Jack Kennedy is the attractive but unpromising second son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain (and occasional political adversary). But when Jack decides to travel through Europe to gather research for his Harvard senior thesis, Roosevelt takes the opportunity to use him as his personal spy. The president’s goal: to stop the flow of German money that has been flooding the United States to buy the 1940 election—an election that Adolf Hitler intends Roosevelt lose. In a deft mosaic of fact and fiction, Francine Mathews has written a gripping espionage tale that explores what might have happened when a young Jack Kennedy is let loose in Europe as the world careens toward war.