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APUSH Summer Reading

AP US History Summer Reading
Profiles in Courage

Published in 1956, Profiles in Courage chronicles the political courage of eight U.S. Senators throughout American history, Senators who defined the will of their party – and often the will of the voters themselves – to support a cause or address a crisis in a way that they felt was morally right, usually at great political cost. If you find yourself confused or struggling on this assignment at any point during the summer, feel free to email me at mrjones@mrjonesclass.com.

Assignment:  Read the book Profiles in Courage and answer the following questions. The sections labeled “Intro Question” and  “Reflection Questions” need only be answered once, but the questions labeled “Profile Questions” need to be answered for each of the eight profiles.


General Question (answer once)
1.  According to John F. Kennedy what are the three pressures that discourage acts of political courage?


Profile Questions (answer once for each profile)
1. Who is this profile about, and what political party did he belong to?

2. Describe the crisis that was facing the nation during this profile?
(1 paragraph)

3. Describe the contrary or unpopular point of view was held by this Senator, and why he felt that way.
(1 paragraph)

4. How did this senator defy the will of his party and/or his constituents?
(1 paragraph)

5.  What political cost did this Senator pay for defying the will of the people and the will of the party?
(1 paragraph)


Reflection Questions (answer once)
1. Which of these Senators do you think displayed the most political courage, and why do you feel that way?
(1 paragraph)

2. Which of these profiles do you think least belongs in a book about political courage, and why do you feel that way?
(1 paragraph)