I fell behind on this one with my fellow Beehivers and the Beehive Book Club post last month.
Last summer, while wading in the Fresno
County Courthouse jury pool, I was reading
“Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly and
Martin Dugard. The duo put together a fascinating ticktock of the events leading up to and after the Lincoln assassination. It is not the assassination itself that was interesting to me — it was more in the examination of how society was at the time. With the success of that book O’Reilly and Dugard offered up “Killing Kennedy” as the sequel. It’s written in that conversational manner of “Lincoln” — in bits and chunks of history, floating in and out of the real life characters that had any connection to JFK, the presidency, the politics and impending assassination. The pacing is smooth — I tend to read when time is available, so it’s easy to set aside and come back to later.
O’Reilly writes, “The truth about President Kennedy is sometimes gallant, and sometimes disturbing. The truth about how and why he was murdered is simply atrocious. But all Americans should know the story.”
Although O’Reilly can be a controversial TV personality, it didn’t appear to me that he injected his spin. With Dugard, the writers give us intimate details of JFK and those around him. It is fact intensive, enveloped in the drama that is allowed to unfold.
Sure, we know what happened. Baby Boomers will acknowledge some of the realities of the time period: Good things were happening, but frightening world events also were taking place. The book is like being inside a living time capsule until the bitter end — November 22, 1963.