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Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years Paperback – Bargain Price, June 3, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've read tons of material on JFK's murder and this book initially felt like just another rehash of all of the other evidence that other people have flogged to death. It is much more than that, however.
Most importantly, it provides the historical context for JFK's murder. Though it is not as thorough with the lead up to RFK's murder, he does provide a fair bit of context for RFK's murder in 1968. He does not, however, capture the mood, the near-panic of that spring/summer, as first MLK and then RFK was gunned down. Because I lived through those tumultous times, as a kid growing up in Detroit, I can safely say that it felt like the world was starting to spin off its axis. He does not quite capture that feeling or sense.
But he does a great job of providing that kind of feel for the time period leading up to Dallas in '63. I'd forgotten many of the details about the events from that time. Talbot pulls it all together with lots of detail and fact and illustrates how JFK's murder was almost an inevitable event. Considering everything that led up to it.
It always amuses me when one reads critical comments such as those offered by negative reviewers here, comments that in no way address the real factual issues and concerns that have remained unresolved for over 40 years. Critics simply lapse into ad hominem attacks and never, ever address the huge factual and logical holes in the Warren Commission approach to this crime.
As someone who tried criminal cases for a living, I believe that any case against Oswald as a lone nut killer is so full of holes, it probably could not have been charged, if he had lived.Read more ›
The title of the book is a little misleading. Brothers is really focused on RFK and a few of his most loyal lieutenants. The lieutenants were so close to the Kennedys that they felt like and were treated like brothers.
As time passes, historical events become clearer. But if you wait too long to render judgment, you lose the testimony of those who participated in the events. Brothers is unusual in that sense: It adds the views from 150 new interviews, but unavoidably loses some perspective as many witnesses are no longer available and many important documents remain classified.
Here are some of the new perspectives Brothers brought to my attention:
1. JFK wasn't really in control of the CIA and military while he was president. The CIA was off running anti-Castro operations in violation of direct presidential orders. The Bay of Pigs invasion was planned by the CIA from the beginning as a ploy to trigger an American military invasion of Cuba which the Joint Chiefs supported.
2. Some in the Pentagon were pushing for a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union in 1961.
3. JFK and RFK had so little confidence in the Secret Service that they were planning to put presidential protection under the attorney general's office.
4. The Cuban missile crisis was more dangerous than I believed. The Soviets had many more troops than the CIA believed and those troops were equipped with tactical nuclear weapons and permission to use them against an American invasion of Cuba.
5.Read more ›
Because several preceeding books have previously been written about the Kennedy brothers, readers might initially be skeptical about picking up David Talbot's work. I can affirmatively assure them that this one is a keeper for your personal library. It reads like a really good mystery book which you know just has to make it to the screen someday.
Talbot disperses some light-hearted trivia throughout his book (Jack was a forerunner of what would be known as 'metrosexual' because he would hold meetings in his underwear' and commented on the attractiveness of other men) but it is not a celebrity triva book. He provided the trivia to take readers into the complex psyches which constructed both men in eras when they were, frankly being immortalized as plastic and one-dimensional images.
A strength of Talbot's writing is that he is obviously an admirer of the Kennedy's. He gets a little too partisan at times, but comparatively appears less partisan than earlier books in the pro-Kennedy camp. Footnotes are provided at the back of the book for reference, so he's not just shooting off his mouth for the sake of it.
I was born well after the times referenced in this book, but the well-writen text took me to the places referenced and drew me in. I really understood the radical potential the Kennedy brothers had for transforming America and why the modern new right organized against them so fiercly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good narrative although a little wordy at times. It changed my view as to the lone gunman theory. I now believe that a conspiracy was at work.Published 17 days ago by duffer
Essential book on the JFK and RFK assassinations, but also very much about JFK's and RFK's political careers. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Harper Sedgwick
The best book yet in the JFK assassination. Talbot puts the puzzle together providing clarity through a lot of well documented detais.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I have read many books on both JFK and RFK. This is certainly one of the best. If you want a story that connects all the known pieces you must read this.Published 2 months ago by Virginia M. Foley
Only 4 stars because it is such a heavy read. Great book and I recommend it. An eye opener. Answers lots of questions and lets you know what our government is really like.Published 2 months ago by Beech
Assassination, despair, fatalism, and defeat unfortunately makes for the ingredients of a well crafted story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Larry Dieli
Wow, what a huge impact this book has had on how I now think of this country's government! I would hope the conspiracy theories outlined in this book are not true. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sherry Templeton
Very well done and filled with nuggets of information I hadn't seen anywhere else. A definite must have for your assassination reference library. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Don H.