t took me a while to actually get into the book. It took about 40 or 50 pages.
I’ve read tons of material on JFK’s murder and this book initially felt like just another rehash of all of the other evidence that other people have flogged to death. It is much more than that, however.
Most importantly, it provides the historical context for JFK’s murder. Though it is not as thorough with the lead up to RFK’s murder, he does provide a fair bit of context for RFK’s murder in 1968. He does not, however, capture the mood, the near-panic of that spring/summer, as first MLK and then RFK was gunned down. Because I lived through those tumultous times, as a kid growing up in Detroit, I can safely say that it felt like the world was starting to spin off its axis. He does not quite capture that feeling or sense.
But he does a great job of providing that kind of feel for the time period leading up to Dallas in ’63. I’d forgotten many of the details about the events from that time. Talbot pulls it all together with lots of detail and fact and illustrates how JFK’s murder was almost an inevitable event. Considering everything that led up to it.
It always amuses me when one reads critical comments such as those offered by negative reviewers here, comments that in no way address the real factual issues and concerns that have remained unresolved for over 40 years. Critics simply lapse into ad hominem attacks and never, ever address the huge factual and logical holes in the Warren Commission approach to this crime.
As someone who tried criminal cases for a living, I believe that any case against Oswald as a lone nut killer is so full of holes, it probably could not have been charged, if he had lived. If they had attempted to try him as a lone killer, they would have been laughed out of the courtroom. Part of a conspiracy? Maybe. A lone killer shooting from the sixth floor? No way. Also, it amuses me that critics denigrate claims of conspiracy, as though only the unhinged would ever believe in such a ridiculous concept. Obviously these people have never spent much time in criminal courts, because prosecutors routinely charge people with conspiracies, day in and day out. If small and large conspiracies happen every day – according to the people who prosecute crimes in our country – why is it so unbelievable that a conspiracy to murder a very important person could happen?
And while the particular facts are too complex to discuss in this forum, Talbot does a very good job of laying out basic, uncontested facts that clearly support his central thesis: that JFK was murdered by a conspiracy and that RFK was not stupid enough to have simply accepted the tripe that was being offered by the government. The book is remarkably free of speculation. It is grounded in simple solid reporting.
It is a book that was difficult to put down. I’m very glad that I took the time to read it. I finally realized why my old grandfather proudly hung one of those tacky velour "portraits" of JFK, MLK and RFK on his wall. (Most black folks know exactly the "portrait" I am referring to. The one that shows MLK flanked by the two Kennedy brothers.) This book makes you understand why my grandfather and so many other black folks all over the country felt so strongly about the two brothers.