David E. Kaiser
The Road to Dallas
The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Harvard University Press 2008
There are some topics that historians know not to touch. They are just too hot (or too cold). The assassination of JFK is one of them. Most scholars would say either: (a) the topic has been done to death so nothing new can be said or (b) it’s been so thoroughly co-opted by nutty theorists that no sane discussion is possible. Thank goodness David Kaiser believes neither of these things, for if he did we would never have his thought-provoking The Road to Dallas. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Harvard UP, 2008). Taking a professional historian’s skills to documents old and new, Kaiser provides what is doubtless the best argument available that the assassination was in fact a conspiracy, though not the one you may know from a certain movie by Oliver Stone. He weighs each piece of evidence and builds his case point by point. Conclusions are never forced but follow naturally from the record. Not everyone will agree with Kaiser’s position, but it must be taken seriously by anyone interested in the topic. Kaiser has thrown down the gauntlet to those who believe Oswald acted alone. Now it is for other historians to take it up. PS: Read David’s blog “History Unfolding.” Please become a fan of “New Books in History” on Facebook if you haven’t already.