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Albert Rossi Reviews Destiny Betrayed 2nd Edition
#1
Click below to read a very fine review of my book by Albert Rossi, formerly a Dartmouth professor.A really fine example of what book criticism should be.

Its part of a web site Tom Fairlie was kind enough to put up for me. Lots of nice things here as you can see.

http://destinybetrayed.com/Reviews.html

Hopefully this will help stifle some of the disinfo about Garrison that will surely surface around the 50th.

Enjoy and spread around.
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#2
Good review. Almost don't need to read the book now. Smile
Seriously, I read the original Destiny Betrayed and I'll read this one.
Thanks for all the fine work you and the folks at CTKA do, Jim.
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#3
Thanks Tracy.

You haven't read the book?

Well, after this, you definitely should now.

Joseph Cannon, a blogger, who avoids JFK books, liked it so much he put up an ad for me. Without asking, for free. His one complaint was: Jim, there is almost too much information in the book.

Well, that's the kind of criticism I can handle.
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#4
Great in depth review. Garrison had it figured out from the start and all the evidence that has emerged since proves this.

Tell the Garrison haters to open their eyes and read this book.

Personally I think there is a darker reason why "researchers' have it in for Garrison.

Their agenda is deeper than a simple mistrust of Garrison's motivation, imho.

This book sounds terrific, Jim.

Dawn
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#5
A very deep review. I think Rossi misses the fact that Kennedy's experiences with Gullion may have formed his national sovereignty views however the Cuban Missile Crisis took it to a new level and critical scope that was inspired by the enlightened influences of persons like Merton.
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#6
"Kennedy's experiences with Gullion may have formed his national sovereignty views"

The book has been out for over six months, and some have not read it yet.

The Gullion meeting in Saigon in 1951 is the jumping off point for the book. One of its central keystones.

And one of the reasons I wrote the volume was to counter JFK and the Unspeakable. As much as I liked that book, I did criticize it for insinuating that the Missile Crisis somehow "turned" Kennedy.

Jim Douglass may not have meant that, but his second publisher picked that as the tag line for the trade paperback edition.

IMO, that is just wrong. And it distorts the record. So this is why in the first four chapters of my book I painstakingly show that the key event in Kennedy's political consciousness evolution was the meeting with Gullion. And, in fact, one of the goals of the book was to make Gullion's name commonplace in any discussion of Kennedy. Since, in my view, it is a disgrace that he was not even mentioned in any assassination book until the Douglass tome.

I then trace Kennedy's rhetorical battles with the Dulles brothers in the fifties, and then show how IN 1961 Kennedy broke with the foreign policy consensus. In fact, I have a chapter subhead with that title. And as Albert notes in his review, I outline snapshots of the three major areas this happened in that year: Laos, Congo, Indonesia.

Then at the end of the book, to show just how bad LBJ was in foreign policy, I demonstrate how things went back to the Dulles view, after JFK's assassination, in those three places. With horrible results for the people in those three countries.

So in addition to countering disinfo about Garrison for the 50th, the book is meant to counter disinfo about who Kennedy really was.
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#7
I don't disagree. The word "may" does not necessary exclude "did". However you miss the point that the Missile Crisis served as a catalyst that pushed Kennedy to the Merton level and marked him for assassination. When Kennedy faced nuclear annihilation he lost his fear of pressing the Gullion imperative to its full extent. His bridges to Khrushchev and post-Crisis detente gave him the opportunity to do so and probably also got him assassinated. If JFK's Gullion influences were that powerfully determinative and defining he never would have been elected. I'm not saying you're wrong. Kennedy was elected by a narrow margin and the powers that be managed to put Johnson into his administration as a ringer designed to subvert his power if it ever came to that point - and it did.
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#8
George Bailey chimes in:

http://oswaldsmother.blogspot.com/

Thanks George.
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#9
I should explain something about the book.

I treated Cuba a little differently since I think it is a special case.

In the book, I take a whole chapter and analyze the Bay of Pigs affair since I consider that a key event for Kennedy.

IMO, if that had not occurred, I think the whole Cuba thing would have been different.

And as I show, in the Bay of Pigs thing, there was so much deliberate subterfuge we may never know what the real agenda was. But it was bad enough that JFK fired the top level of the CIA after conferring with Robert Lovett.

I do agree that after the Missile Crisis both JFK and Nikita K decided that once was way too much. And therefore that hastened a move for detente.
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#10
I'm a newcomer to Deep Politics Forum. Thank you for allowing me to post.

If I may be permitted to say just a few words about what I wrote in the Destiny Betrayed review. I did not mean to downplay the importance of the Missile Crisis. All I wished to state is that I didn't see JFK's behavior thereafter as an about-face from a previously hawkish Cold War agenda. I can agree with the formulation that it may have strengthened his resolve to seek peace with Russia and rapprochement with Cuba (and to accept the consequences thereof, even at the cost of his own life), but imagine, by way of contrast, what Richard Nixon or Barry Goldwater would have done in 1961 during the Bay of Pigs, let alone regarding Laos -- or even in Berlin. If suddenly someone like that decided, "No, this is not the way to go", I could see that as the "turning" of a Cold Warrior. Of course, I suppose that if you wanted to task me on my allusion to St. Augustine's Confessions, you could make the argument that the writer's conversion was merely the moment in which he found the will or grace to do something he had already in his intellect decided needed to be done; yet that "something" for Augustine was nonetheless indeed a turning away from a former lifestyle. This is the only element in Douglass's view of Kennedy which I find overstated; it otherwise seems to be congruent with Destiny Betrayed in that it actually builds a case for how resistant he always was to military intervention, both before and after the crisis (and Douglass even suggests that the PT 109 experience taught him to abhor war). Furthermore, as Jim DiEugenio argues, the White House tapes are quite revelatory concerning JFK's position throughout the thirteen-day crisis: his is the only voice consistently resisting proposals for bombing or invasion.

In any case, it is my personal view that the two Jims' books are, despite their divergence on this point, ultimately complementary. And they are both books that needed to be written (and are also both well-written). We have lived through 50 years of lies, suppression, distortion and disinformation on one side, and sometimes flimsy or occasionally ludicrous speculation on the other; these two books, however, are paragons of thoughtful and meticulous analysis (not to mention powerful indictments of our recent past which speak directly to our present) -- precisely what historical explanation should always strive to be even if historical certainty can never be attained in any objective sense.

As for what led to JFK's death, his own "three strikes, you're out" reaction to Seven Days in May impresses me as particularly apt in terms of the Cuban situation: 1. Bay of Pigs; 2. Missile Crisis; 3. Back-Channel. But we can factor in any number of subsequent "Bay of Pigs" in other areas during the course of his final year in office, like the finalization of the Vietnam withdrawal plans, the Test Ban Treaty, etc., as contributory; as Douglass himself states, there is an embarrassment of choices. Why JFK was elected could also be explained by the fact that he did not always reveal his deeper convictions publicly, and appeared to embrace the Cold War rhetoric of the era (from which, however, it would be hasty to generalize about his intentions), so to some extent, at least, I think those who may have thought they could control him (since he was young and inexperienced in their eyes) did not really grasp whom they were dealing with. But that's just my take on it.

Please, if you haven't already spent time with Destiny Betrayed, by all means do so. I promise you won't regret it.
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