True or not, this makes one hell of a story and ties up all the pesky loose ends of events in Dallas 50 years ago. The...



The mob did it.

In this updated, more compact version of his earlier Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination (with Thom Hartmann, 2008), soon to be a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, veteran investigative reporter Waldron (Watergate: The Hidden History: Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA, 2012, etc.) fleshes out his argument that Mafia godfathers Carlos Marcello and Santo Trafficante ordered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Drawing on new interviews and declassified files, the author describes a small, carefully planned conspiracy orchestrated by Louisiana boss Marcello in retaliation for Robert Kennedy’s war on the mob. Building on the 1979 findings of the House Select Committee on Assassinations that JFK’s assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy and that Marcello and Trafficante had “the motive, means, and opportunity,” Waldron weaves a complex, highly readable narrative with many disquieting elements. These include Marcello’s meetings with Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby; Marcello’s recorded prison-yard confession to a fellow inmate and FBI informer (“Yeah, I had the son of a bitch killed. I’m glad I did….I’m sorry I couldn’t have done it myself”); and striking similarities in the behavior of Oswald and designated fall guys in two planned attempts on JFK’s life during earlier motorcade visits in Chicago and Tampa. The author maintains that the godfathers took advantage of a planned U.S.-sponsored coup against Fidel Castro: They killed the president and managed to avoid detection in the subsequent coverup of the secret coup plans. Two European gunmen opened fire at Dealey Plaza, with Oswald as the fall guy, Waldron writes. Jack Ruby’s orders were to find a cop who would kill Oswald or to do it himself, which he did. The book offers much speculation and plenty of instances of “perhaps,” “probably” and “may have.”

True or not, this makes one hell of a story and ties up all the pesky loose ends of events in Dallas 50 years ago. The conspiracy crowd will love it.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-61902-226-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Counterpoint

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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