David O. Stewart has questioned the accuracy of the book's chapter on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Of Johnson's defenders in the Senate, Profiles in Courage stated that "Not a single one of them escaped the terrible torture of vicious criticism engendered by their vote to acquit." However, Stewart wrote of the supposed suffering: "It is a myth, ..." and "None was a victim of postimpeachment retribution. Indeed, their careers were not wildly different from those of the thirty-five senators who voted to convict Andrew Johnson ..." However, Ross lost his bid for re-election two years after casting the vote acquitting Johnson. There is also evidence that Edmund Ross was bribed to vote for Johnson's acquittal, which is not mentioned in Profiles in Courage.
Kennedy also praised Lucius Lamar, who, while working in the public eye towards reconciliation, privately was an instigator of growing racial agitation.