As a speechwriter and close adviser to John F. Kennedy, Ted Sorensen drafted many of the president's key public statements and was an eyewitness to some of the toughest decisions made by an American president. In the shadow of potential nuclear war, John F. Kennedy had to weigh, with extreme, sometimes excruciating delicacy, his options as he responded to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and other crises. In these famous lectures, Sorensen draws on his experiences in the Kennedy White House to analyze the complexities of presidential decision-making and the necessary attributes of an effective leader. This edition includes a new preface by the author comparing the presidential decision-making of George W. Bush with that of John F. Kennedy. Sorensen's observations offer vital insights and analysis as the United States and the American president confront a new set of challenges.