What if the truth behind the assassination of JFK was not what everyone read in the papers? What if he never died in the attempt to ambush him in Dealey Plaza? What if the world sees the situation through different eyes and the perspective is actually accounted by JFK himself? What if what you thought you saw was not what really happened as author Bryce Zabel presents a story filled with twists, turns and surprises that will make everyone wonder just what really happened? What would have happened if Kennedy lived and found himself under fire and trying to figure out who was behind the attempt to kill him? Listen as you hear his voice, understand his viewpoints, how the Warren Commission was created to investigate the incident and the President finds himself and his office under fire. Scandals, wars, the country coming apart and the direction of the world changing as RFK and his brother try to figure out how to stay way ahead of their foes. Surrounded by Enemies on all sides who can they trust?
The author continues with the trial of Oswald and the media’s take on whether he is totally guilty or others are involved with him. Added in we learn more about Jackie’s role, her fear for her children and the promise JFK supposedly made to her regarding his safety and that of her and her children. An interesting twist to a deadly day as the author continues with more about JFK, his possible impeachment and his reelection.’
The primary focus of the book is what would have happened if JFK survived and Walter Cronkite’s account of the incident had to be changed as author Bryce Zabel challenges readers to revisit the day and what he relates as a failed attempt to kill Kennedy. How would things have gone if he walked back into the White House and it was business as usual? Was Oswald alone or the book focuses on conspiracy theory which when the Warren commission is formed takes center state. What about how LBJ reacts and what about his true feelings for the JFK? His brother Robert taking control and you might say running the show. Just how dangerous is it to be President and just whom can the President trust? The author relates to readers all of the people and organizations that might have cause to take his life: FBI, CIA, Mob, other countries and even members of his own cabinet. What would Kennedy have really done if he knew the day before or after that someone was going to try and kill him in front of the American Public? Would his actions have been the same? Would he have ridden in the same car without protection?
The book is divided into sections and the second deals with the 1964 Presidential election, Barry Goldwater’s candidacy on the Republican ticket, whether JFK will run again and who his running mate will be. Added in the author includes the trial of Oswald. With RFK at this side and the conspiracy group or theory brought to light we even get to know more about the Beatles and their debut on the Ed Sullivan show. From Lee Harvey Oswald, to the Beatles, Nixon, Ford, the famous fight between Clay and Liston this novel is replete in fiction and real history keeping the reader wondering just where the author is going.
The author introduces why LBJ was not going to be the JFK’s running mate, his financial issues and the fact that they would give him a certain amount of time to resolve his issues or resign. Threats were spoken, conversations twisted and the next part of the story deals with Oswald’s trial. But, not everything goes the way the Kennedy’s expected and LBJ was next given the nomination for VP and no one thought that Jack Ruby would kill Oswald. Oswald died and the election would take place but what is next in store for the Kennedy’s as Teddy is in a plane crash and more lives are lost.
The election is won by Kennedy, the state of the union address is given and now his administration will conduct investigations into the murder of Oswald, the conspiracy theory and the Warren Commission will no longer be in charge but another group is appointed. Chapter five focuses on the beginning of 1965 and how Kennedy would deal with his second term in office but first he had to create an inaugural address to far surpass his first one. Talking about the New Frontier, the challenges and then Dallas his job in the Second Change speech was to “Get the country moving again.” Hoping that the Joint Committee on the Attempted Assassination of the President might finally come to some conclusion. On page 167 the author relates whether it might be the conspirators that hired gunman being mindful that the attack failed and another attempt would not work. Another worrisome point was the: Fact that the Warren Commission the only real change for the cover-up’s success, had given way to far less controllable congressional investigation.” Justice Delayed marks the next section and more information about Oswald. Some thought it was the anti-Castro Cubans, the Mafia or even the U.S. military with oil interests in Texas. Mission to Moscow, another fight between Liston and Mohamed Ali and the final part of the section ends with the Secret Life of the President. The Effect of Ground Zero and the release of the article published by Altman and Berkowitz owned the story that appeared. Titled Top Story it was said to have cheapened journalism printed and whether or not the facts were true or false did not matter.
The Impeachment Trial of Kennedy is the focus of Chapter 6 and I will leave that to the reader to learn the outcome and the events. Tapes, house politics, blackout, tale of the tapes and the case for impeachment based on Abuse of Power, Obstruction of Justice, Contempt of Congress, what happens to LBJ and finally Dallas on Trial Again and fall from grace. The final chapter is called Closing the Book and focuses on Top Story: Moon Men, Kennedy Relaunches?
President John McComrack came after Kennedy wand too center state on television to speak with the American public. Thinking he wanted t speak about bombers and other weapons no one expected what he would say. Kennedy was given a full pardon from this president after being accused of violating the law and the speech given by this new President is on page 254. With LBJ in prison and information about Oswald revealed, members of the CIA convicted and federal prosecutors mounting a case against the leader of the anti-Castro group Alpha 66 the powerful conclusion will definitely surprise readers and leave you asking many questions. Jackie and Kennedy’s life, their separation, the truth behind this new president’s term and a final interview that you need to read for yourself. Who was really behind the assassination attempt? Why did LBJ wind up in a federal prison? Diana’s death and John Kennedy Jr’s confining his work to his magazine and not going forth in politics. Read the interview between Benjamin Bradlee and Kennedy. How far can you stretch the true and create fiction before you realize that some of what was written just might be true? What would have happened if Kennedy lived? Surrounded by Enemies: Whom can the president trust? You decide if anyone! The author leaves readers with many unanswered questions and many different solutions.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine
What an interesting premise for this alternate history thriller. Thanks so much for your detailed review of it.