Joshua Rich
May 23, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sure, Robert Dallek’s An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917 — 1963 (Little, Brown, $30) may be an authoritative bio of the storied prez. But it’s 838 pages long. Here’s a quick look at the book’s news-grabbing highlights.

— JFK was a regular in hospitals from age 3. A sampling of his ailments: scarlet fever, malaria, Addison’s disease, colitis, an inflamed prostate, cramps, and the worst back in history.

— Dubya, take heart. Due to low marks in French and Latin, JFK attended summer school at Choate. At Harvard, he got Cs in history and government.

— As prez, JFK had an affair with an unnamed 19-year-old White House intern who, according to one source, ”had no skills…she couldn’t type.”

— His legendary philandering was evident early on. During a 1934 hospital stay, Kennedy, then 17, wrote to a friend, ”I had an enema given by a beautiful blonde…that, my sweet, is the height of cheap thrills.”

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