Chapter 11: "The New Frontier"
Throughout the 20th century the most influential presidential campaign speeches dealt with the issue of what role government should play in the lives of the American people. In 1960, John F. Kennedy turned that concept on its head, by instead posing the rhetorical question: what is the role of the American people in the life of their nation and their government? As Kennedy said, “The New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises, it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them.” This message of sacrifice and commitment would pave Kennedy’s path to the White House and change the way a generation of Americans thought about their responsibilities as citizens.