Jump to content
The Education Forum

First Generation Critics of the Warren Report


Peter McGuire
 Share

Recommended Posts

Don,

That's exactly what I thought. I have not seen him since the #5 Man thread.

Kathy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 108
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 1 month later...

Anthony Frewin has reviewed Praise from a Future Generation for Lobster Magazine:

You can find out more about Anhony Frewin here:

http://www.crimetime.co.uk/interviews/anthonyfrewin.php

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0294522/bio

While the literature critical of the Warren Commission's findings is vast I can only think of two works off hand that are autobiographical accounts of what it actually meant to be a critic: Mark Lane's A Citizen's Dissent (1968) and Gaeton Fonzi's The Last Investigation (1993), the former describing the early days of the critical community and the latter the background to working on the House Select Committee. One could perhaps also include here David Lifton's Quest for Corvo-style Best Evidence (1980) which is as much a first hand account of uncovering the evidence as it is of the evidence itself.

I've often thought it would be entertaining to read a lengthy article, say 20 to 30,000 words on the emergence of the critical community, but what we have here instead is nearly 600 pages. John Kelin has provided in exhaustive detail a history of the first generation of critics in the 1960s, namely Harold Feldman. Penn Jones Jr, Raymond Marcus, Sylvia Meagher, Vincent J. Salandria, Leo Sauvage, Harold Weisberg, and several others. If you want to know what Raymond said in his telephone call to Sylvia at 3.30 pm and what he then said that evening to Leo and Vincent then this is the book for you.

There's precious little here about Mark Lane and whether you love him or loathe him he was a vitally important part of the mix, and virtually nothing about Sylvan Fox, the author of the first critical study of the Warren Commission's findings put out by a mainstream publisher. The Unanswered Questions about President Kennedy's Assassination (New York: Award Books, 1965). Actually, it was preceded by Thomas G. Buchanan's Who Killed Kennedy? (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1964) which was published before the Warren Report came out. Buchanan was criticizing the "findings" that had been leaked out by the FBI and others and putting the "lone mad nut" thesis into (American) historical perspective. And what was David Lifton up to back then? And whither Thomas G. Buchanan?

These are small cavils though and Kelin has done a remarkable job of research and writing. It's a good read, but at the back of my mind I keep thinking, shouldn't he have been out investigating the case now, and wouldn't 20 to 30,000 words have been enough?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Anthony Frewin has reviewed Praise from a Future Generation for Lobster Magazine:

I've often thought it would be entertaining to read a lengthy article, say 20 to 30,000 words on the emergence of the critical community, but what we have here instead is nearly 600 pages.

Well it's a pity about the length Mr. Frewin. You must be a very busy man, and ideally would like your "entertainment" summarized in a memo.

There's precious little here about Mark Lane and whether you love him or loathe him he was a vitally important part of the mix,

There is a quite a lot here about Mark Lane, which makes Mr. Frewin a purveyor of false information.

These are small cavils though and Kelin has done a remarkable job of research and writing. It's a good read,

In fact John Kelin's book is an important slice of American history.

but at the back of my mind I keep thinking, shouldn't he have been out investigating the case now,

Who died and put Frewin charge of deciding how other people should spend their time?

and wouldn't 20 to 30,000 words have been enough?[/color]

I read the first 300 pages of PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION in one sitting, and looking forward to the second half.

I think this guy Frewin is a pretty MISERABLE EXCUSE for a book reviewer

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Mr. Carroll.

Anthony Frewin has reviewed Praise from a Future Generation for Lobster Magazine:

I've often thought it would be entertaining to read a lengthy article, say 20 to 30,000 words on the emergence of the critical community, but what we have here instead is nearly 600 pages.

Well it's a pity about the length Mr. Frewin. You must be a very busy man, and ideally would like your "entertainment" summarized in a memo.

There's precious little here about Mark Lane and whether you love him or loathe him he was a vitally important part of the mix,

There is a quite a lot here about Mark Lane, which makes Mr. Frewin a purveyor of false information.

These are small cavils though and Kelin has done a remarkable job of research and writing. It's a good read,

In fact John Kelin's book is an important slice of American history.

but at the back of my mind I keep thinking, shouldn't he have been out investigating the case now,

Who died and put Frewin charge of deciding how other people should spend their time?

and wouldn't 20 to 30,000 words have been enough?[/color]

I read the first 300 pages of PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION in one sitting, and looking forward to the second half.

I think this guy Frewin is a pretty MISERABLE EXCUSE for a book reviewer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Mr. Carroll.

No. It is I (and the present generation) who must thank you.

So far I have only done one quick reading, which cannot do justice to this major work, but I wholeheartedly agree with John Simkin, Pat Speer and others who have expressed appreciation for your work. PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION is a massive effort and us mere mortals can only marvel at your self-discipline. I for one would love to hear the secret(s) of how you organized this project and what formula you used to keep the work on track.

Just to show that I am not biased in your favor, I now hereby complain that I would have liked to have heard more about Josiah Thompson. In addition to SIX SECONDS and his work on Kierkegaard, Thompson wrote a brilliant autobiography called GUMSHOE http://www.amazon.com/Gumshoe-Reflections-...n/dp/0316841757, but that book, oddly enough, says nothing about his involvement in the JFK investigation. As the saying goes, he gave us the entire play but left out the part of Hamlet.

One of the most important discussions in SIX SECONDS relates to the HATMAN figure in Mary Moorman's polaroid. I am under the impression that this remains one of the most important discoveries made by the early critics. Maybe I missed it on a first reading, but I note that there is no entry for HATMAN in the index of PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION.

On the other hand, I found many gems of original research any one of which was worth many times the price of the book.

It has been pointed out already that PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION is an ideal gift for anyone who enjoys a good read, and I for one have no doubt that, in the fullness of time, this book will be internationally recognized as a true classic of American history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Mr. Carroll.

No. It is I (and the present generation) who must thank you.

So far I have only done one quick reading, which cannot do justice to this major work, but I wholeheartedly agree with John Simkin, Pat Speer and others who have expressed appreciation for your work. PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION is a massive effort and us mere mortals can only marvel at your self-discipline. I for one would love to hear the secret(s) of how you organized this project and what formula you used to keep the work on track.

Just to show that I am not biased in your favor, I now hereby complain that I would have liked to have heard more about Josiah Thompson. In addition to SIX SECONDS and his work on Kierkegaard, Thompson wrote a brilliant autobiography called GUMSHOE http://www.amazon.com/Gumshoe-Reflections-...n/dp/0316841757, but that book, oddly enough, says nothing about his involvement in the JFK investigation. As the saying goes, he gave us the entire play but left out the part of Hamlet.

One of the most important discussions in SIX SECONDS relates to the HATMAN figure in Mary Moorman's polaroid. I am under the impression that this remains one of the most important discoveries made by the early critics. Maybe I missed it on a first reading, but I note that there is no entry for HATMAN in the index of PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION.

On the other hand, I found many gems of original research any one of which was worth many times the price of the book.

It has been pointed out already that PRAISE FROM A FUTURE GENERATION is an ideal gift for anyone who enjoys a good read, and I for one have no doubt that, in the fullness of time, this book will be internationally recognized as a true classic of American history.

I have to agree - a great effort and a great book. I only hope you plan a sequel with the other major researchers after the first group......hint...hint...hint....!

First, thank you very much for your very kind and generous words.

I hope to revise my book for the assassination's 50th anniversary, but have no plans for a follow-up on later critics. If I try that, I might wind up in divorce court.

If you seriously wonder how I "organized this project and what formula used to keep the work on track," well...I shall take a stab at describing it.

I've been interested in the earliest critics almost as long as the assassination itself. I guess it comes down to being one of those people who wonders where stuff comes from, who always wonders who the people are behind their bylines, who always reads fine print. So, I was curious about these people. Then I met Vince Salandria at the 1998 COPA conference, as described in the book's Intro (which omitted Bill Kelly's role in that -- acknowledged elsewhere on this forum -- normally I'm not the type to approach speakers or whoever, and ask for a copy of their speech!).

Vince and I became friendly, and a year or so later he sent me all this stuff, mostly correspondence, that became some of my raw material. Four or five big boxes of material (months later, he sent a few more boxes). I sorted it all out, saw the broad outlines of the story, and began contacting those critics still alive (Shirley Martin was the first I reached).

Organizing: well, much of the book is based on the critics' contemporaneous correspondence. There was an enormous amount of this material, and I logged it all, noting who wrote to whom and when, and what a given letter said. This was very time-consuming but I found it all very engrossing.

I also created multiple timelines that allowed me to cross-reference, at a glance, who was doing what when, and how that measured up to what, e.g., the WC was doing. That was how I noticed, for example, that LBJ dispatched Allen Dulles to Mississippi soon after the disappearance of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, a time when the WC was still at work.

I "organized" what became the book's Part One in my head. But this project kept expanding -- I kept realizing more areas had to be added. So for Part Two and Three, I created a very straight-ahead outline, which was a road map for the rest of the book. There were some detours made but not all that many.

But I have no secrets for organizing and the only "formula" was that I tried to keep it interesting. In truth, I hoped for a major publisher and a wider audience -- and I still think the story deserves both (though not necessarily my telling of it).

Inevitably there were tough decisions to make, which involved limiting the project's scope. So I tried focusing on those people whose interests and efforts could be dated to 11-22-63. Thus there is not much about Six Seconds in Dallas in my book, although I interviewed Tink Thompson. He was very supportive of the idea of this project -- which of course is not necessarily an endorsement of how it turned out. Even limiting the scope, I managed to fill up 500-something pages! (...which seemed to perplex Anthony Frewin.)

Certain people, who should probably have been mentioned in some capacity, were omitted entirely. Space limitations. Mea culpa.

I'm sorry, but I don't recall a specific discussion of "Hatman" in SSID. There is no such entry in the hardcover edition's index. The Moorman photo is discussed on pp. 127-9 and photos on 127 compare a Moorman detail with a later photo taken from the same angle. Is this the "hatman" figure? It does not appear to be any of the figures marked 1 through 5 by David Lifton and Ray Marcus, which of course I dwelled on in considerable detail.

As for the self-discipline part -- when this thing began, my kids were quite small. I was a freelance writer and my wife had a fulltime job that gave us all the healthcare benefits the world requires. We wanted the youngsters raised by us, so I was the logical one to stay home. So most of the book was researched and written while the children napped or, later, went to preschool. In short, I either had or made the time for it. When you are consumed by something, though, it doesn't really seem like self-discipline. (I'd been publishing a web site called "Fair Play," but that was suspended because I needed the time for the book.)

If I may add one thing, at the risk of seeming even more self-indulgent than this lengthy post already must: this book, which I'd say is about an 85-90 percent realization of how I first conceived it, truly seemed to enjoy a state of grace, from my point of view. It seemed like I kept getting the material I needed, when I needed it. For example just when I despaired over finding out much about Sylvia Meagher, I learned of her archive of stuff at Hood College, which was an utter goldmine. I had been unaware of it. (Hood also has the Weisberg archive and the Ray Marcus archive, although I got most of Ray's stuff from Ray himself.) I found almost everyone I was looking for, though I have no background in locating people. Almost everyone welcomed the project and shared generously with me, to my amazement and gratitude.

Okay. I'm long-winded. Sorry about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but I don't recall a specific discussion of "Hatman" in SSID. There is no such entry in the hardcover edition's index. The Moorman photo is discussed on pp. 127-9 and photos on 127 compare a Moorman detail with a later photo taken from the same angle. Is this the "hatman" figure?

Yes, the spot where Sam Holland stands where he saw the puff of smoke.

It does not appear to be any of the figures marked 1 through 5 by David Lifton and Ray Marcus, which of course I dwelled on in considerable detail.

I think that's right. But it seems to me that the various figures Lifton & Marcus were excited about have not stood the test of time, whereas HATMAN is here to stay.

Perhaps Bill Miller would post a version of Moorman, like the one on page 128 of SIX SECONDS IN DALLAS, to illustrate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I may add one thing, at the risk of seeming even more self-indulgent than this lengthy post already must: this book, which I'd say is about an 85-90 percent realization of how I first conceived it, truly seemed to enjoy a state of grace, from my point of view. It seemed like I kept getting the material I needed, when I needed it. For example just when I despaired over finding out much about Sylvia Meagher, I learned of her archive of stuff at Hood College, which was an utter goldmine. I had been unaware of it. (Hood also has the Weisberg archive and the Ray Marcus archive, although I got most of Ray's stuff from Ray himself.) I found almost everyone I was looking for, though I have no background in locating people. Almost everyone welcomed the project and shared generously with me, to my amazement and gratitude.

Okay. I'm long-winded. Sorry about that.

It is true your book, Praise from a Future Generation, is long (568 pages). However, you are not a “long-winded” writer. In fact, you write very concisely. I never once felt while reading the book that you were repeating yourself. The length of a book is decided by the subject matter. That is why you had to concentrate on the early critics of the Warren Commission. If you had included them all, the book would have been too long to publish.

I think it is a great book. It is an invaluable book for a JFK assassination researcher. It is also a fascinating book about the writing of history. It is the best book that I have read about how a small group of individuals refuse to accept the official account of an event in history. That is why the title is so well chosen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is a great book. ... . It is the best book that I have read about how a small group of individuals refuse to accept the official account of an event in history. That is why the title is so well chosen.

I just heard from Gary Mack that the SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM plans to arrange a book-signing for John Kelin. This will be a significant event, and I would imagine it will get good coverage at least in local media.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is a great book. ... . It is the best book that I have read about how a small group of individuals refuse to accept the official account of an event in history. That is why the title is so well chosen.

I just heard from Gary Mack that the SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM plans to arrange a book-signing for John Kelin. This will be a significant event, and I would imagine it will get good coverage at least in local media.

Thanks again for all of the kind comments that have been made in this thread. They are quite gratifying.

I wouldn't really care to speculate on why Sylvia Meagher was so opposed to Garrison. I will say, however, that I am still in contact with some of the people I wrote about, and several of them, who knew Sylvia and were close to her, remain stumped by this question. One in particular was astonished at the intensity of some of what she had written, such as quotations from an unpublished SM article I used, called "Not With a Roar, but a Whimper," which he had not previously seen. I found the whole matter quite sad -- how it drove a wedge between people who had been very close. I don't know why they couldn't just agree to disagree, but the written record spoke for itself.

The Norlin Library, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, is easily the best library in my area. It has several sets of the 26 volumes (though I obtained a set during the course of the project), has vast government documents such as stuff from the La Follette Committee, and multitudes of periodicals, including complete sets of The Minority of One, In Fact, I.F. Stone's Weekly; I even found that rifle magazine (American Rifleman?) that Oswald supposedly saw the Klein's ad in. Plus more stuff I'm probably forgetting, here off the top of my head.

Note: I have been writing this post off-line over the course of a morning, as time permits. Looking at the main page, it appears that some of the posts in this thread have vanished, at least from my browser. Mostly this post addresses Peter Lemkin's remarks, but the post he made them in is, for the moment at least, not visible. I don't understand why. I have a feeling I'll not reply to something that I meant to comment on -- but so it goes. I will say, though, that a post that the Sixth Floor is planning a book-signing is news to me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will say, though, that a post that the Sixth Floor is planning a book-signing is news to me!

I gather this is only in the early stages of planning, but I am sure you will receive an invitation sometime fairly soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

One of the characters in John Kelin's excellent book is Shirley Martin.

It appears that John's book sparked Paul Fecteau (of "Zapruder's Stepchildren") to write this nice article. BK

http://www.tmi2day.com/2008/11/20/cck-45-y...uspicion-alive/

Speculative : to jump ahead a bit : Eugenics? Gov Driscoll, NJ, (executive orders? of a valkyrie nature?)? Fascists in NJ? Importations of MAZI's to bolstrer the Republican vote? Thurmond?

There are aspect of Allans memoirs and statements that indicate that as future VP of the R.F. he directly inorder to maintain secrecy wrote to the Head. Perhaps there is a spook element, but one of 'the invisible governement' kind. So, perhaps George was makng contacts...?

cloakanddagger.de mp3 kennedy speech about seceret societies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is a great book. ... . It is the best book that I have read about how a small group of individuals refuse to accept the official account of an event in history. That is why the title is so well chosen.

I just heard from Gary Mack that the SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM plans to arrange a book-signing for John Kelin. This will be a significant event, and I would imagine it will get good coverage at least in local media.

Thanks again for all of the kind comments that have been made in this thread. They are quite gratifying.

I wouldn't really care to speculate on why Sylvia Meagher was so opposed to Garrison. I will say, however, that I am still in contact with some of the people I wrote about, and several of them, who knew Sylvia and were close to her, remain stumped by this question. One in particular was astonished at the intensity of some of what she had written, such as quotations from an unpublished SM article I used, called "Not With a Roar, but a Whimper," which he had not previously seen. I found the whole matter quite sad -- how it drove a wedge between people who had been very close. I don't know why they couldn't just agree to disagree, but the written record spoke for itself.

The Norlin Library, at the University of Colorado in Boulder, is easily the best library in my area. It has several sets of the 26 volumes (though I obtained a set during the course of the project), has vast government documents such as stuff from the La Follette Committee, and multitudes of periodicals, including complete sets of The Minority of One, In Fact, I.F. Stone's Weekly; I even found that rifle magazine (American Rifleman?) that Oswald supposedly saw the Klein's ad in. Plus more stuff I'm probably forgetting, here off the top of my head.

Note: I have been writing this post off-line over the course of a morning, as time permits. Looking at the main page, it appears that some of the posts in this thread have vanished, at least from my browser. Mostly this post addresses Peter Lemkin's remarks, but the post he made them in is, for the moment at least, not visible. I don't understand why. I have a feeling I'll not reply to something that I meant to comment on -- but so it goes. I will say, though, that a post that the Sixth Floor is planning a book-signing is news to me!

[b]"I wouldn't really care to speculate on why Sylvia Meagher was so opposed to Garrison."[/b]

Probably one of those "female intuition" things, in that she readily recognized when someone was

merely attempting to pull more wool over one's eyes; blow smoke up the derriere. and in general, further confuse

the factual issues.

Never knew the lady, but that tells me that she was quite obviously smarter and more actute than most, as well

as having little culinary taste for more BS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...