LIInd Anniversary of America's Coup d'État
Below, a re-posting of my 2010 review of a "remarkable story [that] confirmed the way I view the world, but changed the way I view President Kennedy."
- Supplying the Motive Behind the Murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Until reading James W. Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, I had never given the assassination of the thirty-fifth president much thought. He was, I thought, just as much of an empty suit as our current president and just as much a philanderer as the previous member of his party to occupy the Oval Office. Why would anyone besides a lone nut have wanted him dead?
Mr. Douglass, a theologian, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Kennedy had a conversion experience after the Cuban Missile Crisis and became a heretic to what the author calls "Cold War theology." John F. Kennedy's co-conspirator was none other than Nikita Khrushchev, with whom he maintained a secret correspondance. Both leaders faced fierce opposition within their own governments; one was assassinated and the other ousted the following year.
Mr. Douglass, whose last chapter has 937 footnotes, delves into the conspiracy behind the presidential murder in great detail. It becomes clear that it was an inside job. (Either that, or Lee Harvey Oswald was at the head of a vast conspiracy involving hundreds of people, many of whom would sacrifice their own lives, organized to makes us believe he was the "pasty" he claimed to be.)
One of the most interesting features of the book is its structure: rather than a straight chronological narrative, the main events are revisited again and again, each time offering deeper insights. For example, while we learn early in the book about the above-mentioned secret correspondance, we do not learn of the bold proposal that would have effectively ended the Cold War (and put a lot of powerful people out of work) until the very last pages.
"A remarkable story that changed the way I view the world," said Flags of Our Fathers author James Bradley of the book. For me, this remarkable story confirmed the way I view the world, but changed the way I view President Kennedy, and I am thankful for that.