Spoiler: Kennedy dies.
So, this 2012 book by Fox News pundit personality, Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard is an interesting book. Due to the subject matter itself — the tumultuous 1960s, the Kennedy’s, and the assassination — there’s not much O’Reilly and Dugard really have to do here to make it a worthwhile read.
Buuuut, since it is O’Reilly, even though he promises at the beginning of the book that this is a fact-based book, there are many places where I chuckled to myself at the infused opinion and embellishment. There are scenes, like when Oswald tries to assassinated U.S. Major General Edwin Walker, that O’Reilly nor any historian could have been privy to how Oswald acted and thought in those moments.
Or how Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is largely described as boring and monotone before it gets to the namesake of the speech. Or how black’s are called “black immigrants” instead of black slaves.
Or apparently how the entire scene where O’Reilly met the alleged conspirator, George de Mohrenschildt, was made up.
And just the politics in general of how Kennedy ought to respond to Cuba and the Soviet Union, what he ought to say in his speeches, and his personal behavior regarding his affairs and interactions with his family.
But here are things we do know for 100% that boggle the mind:
- Kennedy never should have taken that motorcade route in Dallas, Texas. It was inane and risky as hell. Much less to do it with the top down.
- It’s extraordinary to me that he could have lived potentially after the first shot pierces his throat, but due to his back brace from a history of back problems, he stayed erect to receive the fatal head wound.
- The Kennedy family in general must be cursed. Obviously, JFK’s assassination, but then his brother, Bobby’s, five years later. His son John Jr., dying in a plane crash in 1999. And on and on. Just wow.
- Crazy to think, sans those assassinations, what the 1960s may have looked like. The Kennedy brothers as president, respectively, for the next 16 years? Or would Vietnam and civil rights have caught up with JFK and his popularity? Or maybe his womanizing?
- I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so I do believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. However, among conspiracy theories, I do find this one the most compelling. After all, Kennedy did have the ties to the Mafia, a feud with Castro and of course, it was the height of the Cold War. Not to mention, it’s wild to me that he — Oswald — was assassinated shortly after being captured.
- Lee Harvey Oswald killed the most powerful man in the world and he was only 24. For some reason, that fact astounds me.
Overall, I think it’s a fun fluff book to read and I’d recommend it. However, I’m now interested in reading a better historical view of Kennedy and the assassination.