Staggeringly well-researched and intelligent overview not only of the JFK assassination but also of the rise of forces undermining American democracy--of which the assassination, Scott says, is symptomatic. Scott (English/UC at Berkeley; coauthor, Cocaine Politics, 1991, etc.) advances the idea that each decade has produced its own adjustment to prolonging and deepening the cold war but that this adjustment can't be seen merely as an effort of nefarious power grabbers but rather as a synergism emerging from many interrelated political layers reacting to each other. The author is less interested in actual facts than in working toward public control of political life. To do this, he uses a huge magnifying glass he calls ``deep politics''--the study of ``political practices and arrangements that are usually repressed rather than acknowledged.'' The JFK assassination, he contends, is only one of four incapacitating political crises in Washington since WW II: The others are McCarthyism, Watergate, and the Iran-contra scandal, which, along with the JFK killing, have striking continuities in personnel, supranational ties, and outcome. Scott warns: ``I am not suggesting that the four crises were part of some single conspiracy, only that we recognize that in all cases the outcome was roughly the same: a prolongation of a system committed to the Cold War.'' His chief villain is J. Edgar Hoover, the real power behind McCarthyism, McCarthy himself having been a weak arm of systematic governmental violence that increased during Hoover's incumbency and that involved organized crime, assassination of black leaders, CIA assassinations, and much, much more. A kind of Rosetta stone for cracking open the deepest darkness in American politics. Will test the most well-informed.