Why England Slept was John F. Kennedy’s supplement to Winston Churchill’s While England Slept. In his book, written during his senior year in college, Kennedy consults magazine and newspaper articles, speeches, memorandum, proposed and actual English expenditures and production, to explore the reasons why, subsequent to World War I, England engaged in unilateral disarmament, followed by a sluggish, leisurely rearmament. Because England and the United States are both capitalist, democratic nations, Kennedy distills lessons that the United States can glean from England’s slumber.
We have the benefit of their experience. From their mistakes we should be able to learn a lesson that may prove invaluable to us in the future. From an analysis of their story we may be able to see how much of the fault is peculiarly England’s and its leaders, and how much can be attributed to those principles we share in common, a democratic form of government, based on a capitalist economy.