Will history absolve the close associates of Kennedy who have written their tomes of praise and quick evaluation? Historians already have. Mrs. Donald has. She has gathered under hard cover scattered pieces of analysis of the last Administration by neutral observers and used excerpts from Schlesinger's and Sorensen's memoirs, essays by Bundy and others to make personal a book otherwise cold. Of the outsiders' views, only Richard Rovere's New Yorker essay on the quality of the Kennedy reign and David Horowitz's dissent from the left on the meaning of the Cuban missile crisis rise above the level of exploratory, academic exercises. Although the essays are arranged so to give a progressive portrait of the man and the politician, each seems to begin anew. We are left at the end as we were on the day of the murder, with only fragments to shore against the ruins.