Who Killed JFK? Two New Studies

Whether you think John F. Kennedy was a great pres­i­dent or just a guy
who enjoyed sul­try birth­day
ser­e­nades (see clip below), you have to admit
his hold on America’s cul­tur­al imag­i­na­tion is still pow­er­ful four
decades after his assas­si­na­tion. Two major new works of his­to­ry tack­le
the ques­tion and, pre­dictably, come down on oppo­site sides of it. David
Talbot’s Broth­ers: The Hid­den His­to­ry of the Kennedy Years offers new evi­dence fur­ther­ing the great con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry, while Vin­cent Bugliosi’s Reclaim­ing His­to­ry: The Assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy agrees with offi­cial his­to­ry and the War­ren Com­mis­sion.

Per­haps the most inter­est­ing thing about these lat­est prod­ucts of the
Kennedy indus­try is the fact that both books are tak­ing advan­tage of
new media for­mats to com­bat the tra­di­tion­al prob­lem with Big His­to­ry
texts–weight. Bugliosi’s tome comes in at a back-wrench­ing 1,612
pages, so be thank­ful that his pub­lish­ers includ­ed the many end­notes on
an accom­pa­ny­ing CD. (You would be well-advised to save a few months and
read the New York Times review here.) Talbot’s Broth­ers is only a third as long, but that’s still almost 500 pages–so why not enjoy it as an eBook instead, or just check out the excerpt on Salon? Or take in its New York Times review here. If your eyes are tired already, rest assured that both authors also appeared on the Leonard Lopate show (Bugliosi mp3; Tal­bot mp3 ). And if you hap­pen to live in the Bay area, you can go see Tal­bot will be in San Fran­cis­co pro­mot­ing the book tomor­row, May 22.

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Comments (2)
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  • Dr. Eggman says:

    I under­stand that this is your own project and you may feel strong­ly about it, how­ev­er, I have to say it’s not as “open” as the oth­er con­tent on this site. Six-hun­dred dol­lars is a lot of mon­ey to many peo­ple and this being the sec­ond time (I believe) I’ve seen you list these cours­es with­out men­tion­ing the price in the arti­cle I thought I’d men­tion this. I’m not say­ing you should­n’t list them (it isn’t my place to) but read­ing through the descrip­tions and then notic­ing the price tag on the side kind of irked me.

  • Nick Luft says:

    I agree with Dr Eggman.

    I dis­like find­ing out the price of some­thing only after I have been drawn in to read more. Even a guide­line of the range of prices is use­ful.

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