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David Kaiser, author of the well regarded AMERICAN TRAGEDY: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War, has a new assassination book coming out shortly of some interest – THE ROAD TO DALLAS. At 536 pages, it should be a substantial read. The synopsis below is pro-conspiracy, which is something, but unless I’m mistaken, the details seem – potentially - to suggest Oswald did it, egged on by the mob. (I don’t buy either of those assertions). It’ll be interesting to read the book when it comes out and see eventual responses to it. The synopsis is below, followed by what seems to be the first review (via the authors blog, from Publisher’s Weekly), and then finally the Amazon link for purchase, for anyone keen.

THE ROAD TO DALLAS: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Neither a random event nor the act of a lone madman—the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was an appalling and grisly conspiracy. This is the unvarnished story.

With deft investigative skill, David Kaiser shows that the events of November 22, 1963, cannot be understood without fully grasping the two larger stories of which they were a part: the U.S. government’s campaign against organized crime, which began in the late 1950s and accelerated dramatically under Robert Kennedy; and the furtive quest of two administrations—along with a cadre of private interest groups—to eliminate Fidel Castro.

The seeds of conspiracy go back to the Eisenhower administration, which recruited top mobsters in a series of plots to assassinate the Cuban leader. The CIA created a secretive environment in which illicit networks were allowed to expand in dangerous directions. The agency’s links with the Mafia continued in the Kennedy administration, although the President and his closest advisors—engaged in their own efforts to overthrow Castro—thought this skullduggery had ended. Meanwhile, Cuban exiles, right-wing businessmen, and hard-line anti-Communists established ties with virtually anyone deemed capable of taking out the Cuban premier. Inevitably those ties included the mob.

The conspiracy to kill JFK took shape in response to Robert Kennedy’s relentless attacks on organized crime—legal vendettas that often went well beyond the normal practices of law enforcement. Pushed to the wall, mob leaders merely had to look to the networks already in place for a solution. They found it in Lee Harvey Oswald—the ideal character to enact their desperate revenge against the Kennedys.

Comprehensive, detailed, and informed by original sources, The Road to Dallas adds surprising new material to every aspect of the case. It brings to light the complete, frequently shocking, story of the JFK assassination and its aftermath.


Review from Publisher’s Weekly:

While plenty of authors have argued that the Mafia and anti-Castro Cubans were behind the assassination of President Kennedy, few have done so as convincingly as Naval War College history professor Kaiser (American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War). Kaiser bills this as “the first [Kennedy assassination book] written by a professional historian who has researched the available archives,” and his attention to detail and use of recently released FBI and CIA files put this analysis ahead of many of its fellows. Kaiser focuses on the tantalizing testimony of Cuban exile Silvia Odio, who claimed to have met Lee Harvey Oswald in the company of Cuban activists, and on the U.S. government’s efforts to kill Castro and Robert Kennedy’s crusade against organized crime. By taking Oswald’s guilt as a given and focusing on the people he crossed paths with and their motives and connections, Kaiser mostly succeeds in avoiding complex and narrative-derailing forensic discussions. This is a deeply disturbing look at a national tragedy, and Kaiser’s sober tone and reasoned analysis may well convince some in the Oswald-was-a-lone-nut camp.


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