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Battling Wall Street

The Kennedy Presidency
Author bio: 
Donald Gibson

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the meaning and the legacy of his presidency are as much the subject of controversy as are the facts of his murder.

Was JFK a tool of the Eastern Establishment - of the corporate and banking elites - or was he their bitterest enemy? Did his policies - domestic and international, implemented and unfulfilledserve to continue the domination of the powers-that-be, or did he attempt, and in many cases effect, a break with America's aristocracy?

In this intriguing and penetrating analysis, Don Gibson does not simply replay the standard commentaries on the Kennedy presidency, many of which are ill-informed, even if well-meaning. Gibson looks at what JFK himself said, wrote, and did, contrasting that with the words and actions of his enemies-the Wall Street Journal, Fortune magazine, and the corporate and banking magnates themselves, who, as this book shows, truly despised the President.

The current conventional wisdom depicts Kennedy as a cautious, even a conservative president, a Tory Democrat committed to the status quo and to the Establishment. But this book makes a compelling case to the contrary, suggesting that President Kennedy was always willing to do battle for his policies, even in the face of vicious attacks.

With its clear and lively style, this book is a revelation to the general reader and to the specialist. It also contains strikingly original insights into environmental elitism. It adds a new and important dimension to the ongoing debate over the Kennedy presidency.

This is a reprint of the original work published in 1994. It reveals JFK as the most heroic representative in living memory of that progressive tradition in American politics embodied by the historical figures of Hamilton, Henry Clay, Lincoln and FDR. 


This new edition adds Prof. Gibson's tribute to Robert F. Kennedy, who followed in his brother's footsteps, and made the same supreme sacrifice for the ideals they shared. RFK courageously carried forward the activist struggle, against oligarchy and for a better world: for dignity, equality, justice and progress for all people and nations. Fifty years ago, on June 6, 1968, he was cut down before he could take office, after winning the primary elections for president.


“John F. Kennedy ... saw that the entrenched interests of the financial barons and business élite would have to be challenged... Gibson captures ... the most essential and enduring aspect of the Kennedy presidency... his work speaks volumes ... in support of the vision, ideal, and practical reality embodied in the presidency of John F. Kennedy.”
— Rep. Henry B. Gonzales, Chair, House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs

“With Battling Wall Street, Professor Gibson has made a unique contribution to Kennedy scholarship... the only major study dealing specifically with Kennedy’s economic policies... Kennedy emerges as a mid-twentieth-century Hamiltonian dirigist in the great tradition of the American System of political economy... who wanted to expand and improve on the achievements of the New Deal... We can thus identify a whole new class of Kennedy’s enemies among the bankers, financiers and their advocates... Must reading for anyone who wants to understand the conflicts which have shaped American history over the past half century. ”
— Dr. Webster G. Tarpley, Author of Surviving the Cataclysm

“The most complete and profound analysis of the economic policies of President Kennedy. ”
— James DiEugenio, Author of Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case

“Someone has finally made sense of the events of November 22, 1963. From this one book alone, one could seriously accept the idea that the eastern establishment, the Wall Street crowd, the corporate elite and all their connections had the most to lose with Kennedy as president. They had the motive and means to kill the president and then to cover it up. ” — Amazon 5-star review.

Was JFK the tool of the Eastern Establishment, or was he its bitterest enemy? Don Gibson challenges the conventional wisdom and asserts, with powerful support from Kennedy’s own words and actions—and those of his enemies—that Kennedy was always on the side of economic, political and social progress. To achieve his goals of government for the people, JFK crossed swords courageously and vigorously with the real centers of power. They punished him with the ultimate sacrifice — his own life, and fifty years of crushing defeats of our American ideals.

A big thanks to Webster Tarpley for introducing me and Donald Gibson, which made possible the reprinting of three of Prof. Gibson's books: Battling Wall Street, The Kennedy Assassination Cover-Up, and Ecology, Ideology and Power..  

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