David Gates
November 05, 2013 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Larry J. Sabato
publisher
Bloomsbury USA
genre
Nonfiction, History

We gave it an A

Sabato’s own contribution to this fall’s bounty,The Kennedy Half-Century, analyzes JFK’s presidency and its impact on the nine presidents who’ve followed him. He devotes more than a quarter of his book to a fair-minded summary of conspiracy theories — to the mysteries and anomalies that engendered them, and to the cynical post-Vietnam, post-Watergate mindset in which they’ve flourished. Sabato ultimately finds the case against Oswald ”overwhelming,” but he admits, in a nuanced double-negative, that ”the chance of some sort of conspiracy…is not insubstantial.” So who might have helped or encouraged Oswald? Sabato’s not guessing, but he claims the CIA isn’t telling all it knows. A

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