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In 1960, Mailer published his famous essay on JFK, “Superman Comes to the Supermarket,” a defining and significant contribution to New Journalism. The essay frames JFK as a kind of existential hero and a beacon of hope for America’s future, and is representative of the lasting influence Kennedy had on Mailer’s political views and conceptions of America, the American Dream, and American masculinity. Much of The Presidential Papers, a miscellany of writings published in 1964, is also devoted to the Kennedys, and the figure of JFK haunts more than one of Mailer’s later works as well.
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