McKinley thinks as they might have thought, plans as they might have planned, when they set out to murder in the national interest. Since he isn't privy to any insider's knowledge about the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Huey Long, JFK, and the rest, the book is a multiplicity of inferences, probabilities, and might-have-beens. A recurring theme is ""the executioner as hero""--from Booth to Czolgosz to Sirhan they thought of themselves as avenging angels. The puniest of them, Charles Julius Guiteau, the virtually forgotten killer of James A. Garfield, once fancied himself ""in the employ of Jesus Christ and Company, the very ablest and strongest firm in the universe."" Shadowy, phantasmagoric conspiracy theories surround most of the political killings and McKinley battens his book on them all: did the Castroites or the Russians, the CIA or the FBI, the Teamsters or H. L. Hunt abet Oswald? Was John Wilkes Booth a Confederate spy? Was Mary Todd implicated? Was Stanton? No firm conclusions but plenty of dark hints: ""As with John Kennedy, many strands of the Ray yarn knit together in Louisiana, especially in New Orleans."" The inevitable lament for democracy imperiled caps things off.