Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: Killing Kennedy - The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

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Title: Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelet
Authors: Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover: 325 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath. 
In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Alan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. 
In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

When I bought this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect, considering I have never been a fan of Bill O’Reilly. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Killing Kennedy. It was engaging, simple and very easy to read. Bill O’Reilly offered a fresh, concise story neatly wrapped up and delivered so that even high school students could understand and appreciate the contribution of the Kennedy family in shaping current American history.

This book offered a humanistic view of a flawed man who would ultimately become one of the most popular presidents of all time. Killing Kennedy transcends generational gaps and gives readers a chance to understand that John F. Kennedy was just a man who had a taste for extramarital affairs, relied on his brother Bobby Kennedy for advice, wavered in his decisions, and knew what it took to keep the American people happy. In other words, Kennedy was a politician for the new age. JFK was popular, but the author reveals Kennedy's true political driving force and most trusted confidante: Bobby Kennedy.

One of the many things I liked about this book: I didn’t have to read another book to find out information on Lee Harvey Oswald. The author alternated between the rise of JFK, and the life of his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The author allows the readers to delve into the many conspiracy theories that have circulated for years, while finally drawing the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the assassin of John F. Kennedy.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Although many conspiracy theorists would probably find fault with some of the facts in this book, I think it is well worth the read.