The Kennedys, the Castros, and the Politics of Murder
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Two investigative journalists recount the dangerous political duel between the brothers Kennedy and Castro.

“I’ve killed my own brother!” With this anguished cry, say former Frontline reporter Russo (Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers, 2006, etc.) and screenwriter Molton (Brave Talk, 1987), Robert Kennedy, who for years headed the administration’s counterinsurgency effort against Fidel Castro, acknowledged his complicity in JFK’s assassination. When the name “Oswald” showed up in a dossier indicating that the unstable ex-Marine was considered for recruitment by anti-Castro forces, RFK understood that the deadly game of spy-counterspy had come full circle. As with his counterpart, Raul Castro (Fidel’s younger brother), who was in charge of Cuba’s intelligence service, RFK’s selfless devotion knew no bounds. Both viewed the contest between their countries in highly personal terms: “what offended the dignity of the brother offended the dignity of his entire nation.” Relying on past histories and innumerable interviews, the authors vividly reconstruct the Cold War atmosphere of the ’60s. Acknowledging Oswald as the sole triggerman, they convincingly conclude that he was a Cuban asset who acted under his own agency, but was also a patsy for larger clandestine elements. Their tracing of Oswald’s creepy progress to Dallas’s Dealey Plaza, their detailed portrait of the shadowy Rolando Cubela Secades (was he a double agent?) and their intimate knowledge of the shadowy intelligence world all contribute to a deeper understanding of the sometimes purposeful, sometimes random forces at work. Russo and Molton attribute the coverup of Oswald’s Cuban connection to the Warren Commission’s ignorance about the extent of the Kennedy brothers’ plots to kill Castro, to RFK’s interest in protecting the family legacy and to Lyndon Johnson’s desire to keep an enraged America from retaliating and possibly triggering World War III.

A serious, intriguing look at the blood feud whose horrible consequences continue to reverberate.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59691-532-9
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2008


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