F.K. THE MAN AND THE MYTH by Victor Lasky


Email this review


The American capacity to absorb the public relations managed image is as enormous as the media that helps grind it out. However, a saturation point can be reached and a reaction sets in that produces a reader appetite for rejection. Movie stars and minor royalty have experienced it, and those who stand along the Presidential timberline would do well to remember it. Kennedy & Co., Kennedy and the Kith and Kin Cabinet, Kennedy and all those miles of print, film and tape accumulated during the camera-covered years is an inevitable target for this kind of sustained attack. The rappings of scholarship are here to provide the aura of detachment--footnotes and of sources. Detached, it is not. Lasky's injection of the phrase, ""Happy Happy day"", when all other ironies fail him, indicates his position from the start. That those sources include whole swatches from Westbrook Pegler and journals of the stripe and well known bias of the Chicago Trib will have no affect on the avid retractor. This is Kennedy through the wrong end of a telescope. All that money, the gray eminence of ""Papa Joe"", the machinations of a blatantly political family and all the dirt that has ever found its way into print are spread out and carefully cross-indexed. The readability of the book is beyond question; the reliability is not. The faithful will founder in outrage; the not-so-loyal opposition will love it. An outlook and approach distinctly in reverse of Hugh Sidey's appraisal in John F. Kennedy, President (see p. 575, 1963).

Publisher: Macmillan